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NFF Sacks Okon, Appoints New Coach For Falcons

Oladipo Okubanjo

Coach Edwin Okon has been relieved of his job as Head Coach of the Nigeria women’s national soccer team barely two weeks after guiding the Super Falcons to a first round exit at the current FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), who announced Okon’s dismissal yesterday, said it has appointed Christopher Danjuma to replace the Rivers Angels’ coach.

Danjuma, who until his appointment was an assistant to Okon, would however lead the Falcons in acting capacity. The chairman Technical and Development Committee of the NFF, Felix Anyansi-Agwu, who made the disclosure, praised the efforts of the former technical crew headed by Okon, saying they did their best within the period they were in charge of the team. He said: “We commend Okon and his crew for the services rendered to the country, and they did well to reclaim the African Women Championship title for the country in Namibia in October 2014, thus qualifying the team for the Women’s World Cup in Canada.

“The contract given to the crew has elapsed with the Women’s World Cup in Canada. Mr. Christopher Danjuma will now take over the team in acting capacity, pending the appointment of a substantive coaching crew, which process is ongoing.” The immediate task before Danjuma is to prepare the Super Falcons ahead of next month’s Rio 2016 Olympic qualifier against Equatorial Guinea, and Anyansi-Agwu assured that the NFF will give the new coach and his crew all the support to qualify the team for the quadrennial tournament.

“The team will soon move to Port Harcourt to get used to the pitch on which it will play Equatorial Guinea in the third round of the Olympics qualifiers. The NFF will provide everything that the needs to succeed,” said Anyansi- Agwu. The Super Falcons under Okon’s tutelage won the 2014 African Women’s Championship, qualified for the 2015 All Africa Games but failed to shed the garb of underachievement at the World Cup, where they drew 3-3 with Sweden, lost 2-0 and 1-0 to Australia and the United States respectively in Group D to crash out of the competition. The team will on July 18 host their counterparts from Equatorial Guinea in the first leg of their two-legged Olympic qualifying encounter.

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