Mrs. Oluremi Tinubu, the First Lady of Nigeria, has extended her commendations to the Super Falcons, the country’s female football team, for their remarkable sportsmanship demonstrated at the FIFA Women’s World Cup co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Mrs. Tinubu welcomed the players and officials of the team to Abuja on Monday, emphasizing the importance of the players embracing their roles as role models.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reported that the Super Falcons exited the tournament on August 7 after a penalty shootout loss to the England team, the Lionesses.
During the welcoming ceremony, Mrs. Oluremi Tinubu expressed her admiration for the professionalism exhibited by the players on the field. She noted that despite not securing the trophy, the dedication and resilience displayed by the players earned them immense respect and admiration from President Bola Tinubu and many Nigerians.
“The dedication and resilience you displayed on the field has earned even Mr. President and other Nigerians immense respect and admiration; this could only have been accomplished through good team spirit, handwork, and discipline,” Mrs. Tinubu said.
She further emphasized that victory is not solely determined by the scores on the field, but by the unbreakable spirit and unity that the players showcased. The First Lady lauded the players for representing Nigeria on the global stage and becoming role models for the youth, particularly young girls who now see their aspirations mirrored in the team.
Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) President, Ibrahim Gusau, also conveyed his gratitude to Mrs. Tinubu and President Tinubu for their unwavering support before, during, and after the team’s performance at the women’s world cup. He recalled a video of the First Lady passionately supporting the Super Falcons during their match against Australia, indicating the significant impact of such encouragement.
Gusau assured the team that their entitlements would be paid in due course, acknowledging the players’ achievements and the sum of $60,000 that each player would earn for reaching the round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup.
“I want to assure that the players and the officials will be paid all their entitlements as soon as we receive the world cup money from FIFA,” Gusau affirmed.
The team’s captain, Onome Ebi, also expressed her gratitude for the support received from the First Lady and President Tinubu. Ebi noted the emotional journey of the team, expressing both happiness and sadness about their performance. She highlighted the team’s determination to reach the finals and lamented the penalty shootout that led to their exit.
“I feel happy about our performance at the same time, sad because it was not what we planned to achieve but I and my teammates showed the world that we wanted to get to the last,” Ebi stated.
The Super Falcons’ journey at the FIFA Women’s World Cup captured the hearts of many, reflecting the determination, resilience, and sportsmanship that define Nigerian football. The commendations from the First Lady and NFF President serve as a testament to the team’s dedication and their role in inspiring future generations of athletes in Nigeria. As the nation looks ahead to future tournaments, the legacy of the Super Falcons will undoubtedly continue to shine brightly in the realm of women’s football.