Super Falcons coach, Randy Waldrum, said his players are only focused on their group matches at the ongoing 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Waldrum said this at the pre-match press conference ahead of the Super Falcons’ second group game against co-host, Australia at the Lang Park in Brisbane/Meaanjin.
Nigeria and Australia will meet on Thursday in what is one of the most-anticipated clashes of the group stage at the ninth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup finals.
Waldrum had a row with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) before the tournament but the American gaffer says he and the girls are not thinking about that.
UK-based Nigerian journalist, Osasu Obayiuwana on Wednesday asked Waldrum at the Suncorp Stadium on how he is managing his team after the war of words between him and the NFF over his unpaid wages and other welfare matters.
“I think the best way to answer the question is that we are not focused on anything else except on our football matches at the World Cup since we have been here,” Waldrum said.
“That is the way that we have decided to handle the situation as a team, so I really would not like to get into any discussion about the issue but I would only talk from the footballing aspect.
“I think the atmosphere in camp has been amazing ever since we arrived in Australia, the players have worked extremely hard and the short training camp we had was very valuable to us.
“As far as I am concerned, the players have all bought into everything we are trying to do as a team and even the coaching staff I can say has been tremendous.
“Once again, all I and my team are concentrating on right now is the football at this tournament and not the other issues that happened before it,” Waldrum told Obayiuwana at the Suncorp Stadium.
The Super Falcons know only a win will be good enough to stand them in good stead for a place in the Round of 16 as only the two top-placed teams in each of the eight groups will make progress in a tournament that has welcomed 32 teams for the first time ever.
While Australia got the maximum three points from their opening match against Republic of Ireland in Sydney on 20 July with a 1-0 win, Nigeria only picked up a point from theirs.
The nine-time African champions refused to bow to Olympic champions Canada in Melbourne the following day as the two teams played out a goalless draw with Nigeria’s goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie saving a penalty.