Nigeria’s senior women’s soccer team, the Super Falcons, are still licking their wounds following their ouster from the qualifying campaign for a ticket to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, with Ngozi Okobi accusing match officials of standing between the Super Falcons and victory against their Equatorial Guinea hosts.
The Super Falcons had last Sunday lost 1-2 to the Nzalang Nacional of Equatorial Guinea in the second leg of their second round game played in Bata to give the Guineans a 3-2 aggregate victory, with the first leg game played Abuja having ended 1-1.
The outcome of Sunday’s match ensured Nigeria, the African champions will not be playing in the women’s football competition of the Olympic Games for the second consecutive time having also failed to pick a ticket to the London Games three years ago.
Okobi, who put Nigeria ahead in Bata before the Nzalang Nacional leveled up and subsequently got the winner in extra time, said the Falcons did everything right to cement progression in the qualifying race but the referees thwarted their efforts at emerging with a positive result.
“The referees were truly the kill-joy in the clash against Equatorial Guinea in Bata on Sunday,” the midfielder told supersport. “We did not lose to the Equatorial Guineans but to the antics of the referees who for reasons best known to them made it absolutely difficult for us to play our own game with their bad calls.
“We actually gave the qualification clash the best fight but were undone by the referees biased officiating. “It’s unfortunate we could still not qualify for the Rio Olympics after we sorely missed the 2012 London Olympics. “Well, the deed cannot be undone. Right now we can only take solace in the forthcoming All Africa Games (AAG) in Congo Brazzaville next month.
“We can now focus our energy and preparations at winning gold in the fowomen’s football event of the AAG perhaps as a make-up for our inability to qualify for the Olympics.”