|Nigeria’s Esther Sunday is pursued by Japan’s Emi Nakajima, left, and Shoko Yamada.|
The real truth behind the shameful elimination of Falconnets in the just ended U-20 World Cup in Japan has finally been revealed.
We can reveal that in-fighting by players of Rivers Angels and Delta Queens who formed the bulk of the team, division between the technical crew and hatred among accompanying officials of the team tore whatever remained of the team to shreads before they fell headlong. For a team that was beaten by Germany in the final of the last edition, many expected the team to, at least qualify for the final. And they showed so much vim and vitality in the beginning of the tournament before in-fighting and power-tussle set in and dragged them down.
We learnt that the team which was largely made up of Rivers Angels and Delta Queens players quarreled over the captaincy of the team ably led by Rivers Angels’ defender, Gloria Ofoegbu. Players of Delta Queens did not recognise Ofoegbu as their captain and showed their disdain for her while Ofoegbu’s Rivers Angels teammates queued behind her. ‘’It was so bad that when the Captain talks to the team, some players will be hissing and sighing, while opposing players hailed the captain’’, a source in the team said.
Regrettably, though, the coaching crew were also infected by the division as assistant coaches to Edwin Okon(head coach from Rivers Angels) challenged him openly of favouring his club players in selecting players for the national assignment. ‘’The girls were not in speaking terms and they took the quarell to the pitch. It was shameful”, our source said.
Our source said that the uneasiness in camp took a dangerous turn when backroom staff joined in the self-destructive fight, pitching tents with one camp or another. ‘’Do you know that even leaders of the team had their own misgivings. They don’t greet themselves and gave counter orders”.
We was informed that NFF’s Leader of Delegation, Johnson played reconciliatory roles to no end.
Our source even said that we should watch out tomorrow at the planned reception for them by the Presidency as the girls only mix with their club players while avoiding others.
But when contacted yesterday, Chairman of NFF’s Media Committee and board member, High Chief Emeka Inyama said that they were not aware of any such thing. ‘’This is a shocking news and we are going to investigate and take appropriate actions. We can’t tolerate in-fighting and distraction in a team that was supposed to be one’’, Inyama said.