Former Super Falcons’ coaches, Godwin Izilien and Edwin Okon, have advised the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) board to invest in women soccer to get the country at par with such super powers as Spain, England, United States and Norway, among others.

Speaking in the wake of the 2023 Women World Cup final in Sydney, Australia, at the weekend, Izilien said the top quality coaching and a well-organised league systems in England and Spain contributed to the great tactical performance by both teams in the finals.

He said the hidden talents across the country would be unearthed if the Nigerian women league is revamped. “The performance of the English and Spanish players in the final of the Women’s World Cup is a clear pointer that Nigeria needs to work more to develop our leagues and academies in football,” he said. “Nigeria is a force to reckon with in Africa and world football. We have the talents, but poor coaching has limited the Falcons.

“More investment should be made to get quality coaches to develop players from the six geopolitical zones of the country. When you look at the Spanish and English teams, they have enough talents on the field of play and also on the bench. This is a reflection of high quality grooming and discovery of players over the years in these countries,” he said.

Coach Okon described England and Spain’s performance as a result of well-tailored, long term planning, saying Nigeria cannot succeed in women’s football on the big stage without proper planning.

“The league must be active and professionally handled with long term structures in place to groom quality teams. We have the talents, but all they need is proper exposure.

“The English and Spanish women’s performance shows that if you groom and develop talents from the grassroots and at tender ages, you will get the best result.

“A player like Deborah Abiodun from Rivers Angels proved her strength despite playing at the World Cup for the first time. We have talents here and I call on this present NFF board to invest more on women football.”

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