Nigeria star Ifeoma Onumonu opened up on the shocking lack of resource her team has after their Women’s World Cup came to an end in defeat to England.
- Onumonu explains Nigeria’s lack of resource
- Super Falcons locked in feud with federation
- Lost in World Cup to England on Monday
WHAT HAPPENED? The Super Falcons were the better team in their last 16 clash with the Lionesses on Monday, hitting the bar twice through Ashleigh Plumptre and Uchenna Kanu, but would eventually lose in a brutal penalty shootout. It brought to an end a World Cup campaign that has been marred by off-pitch issues for Nigeria, with the players reportedly nearly boycotting their opener due to feud with the federation surrounding bonuses and expenses.
WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to reporters after Monday’s game, Onumonu, who plays her football in the U.S. with Gotham, opened up on the lack of resources Nigeria have, especially in comparison to England. “Yes I’ve seen what England have access to,” she said. “In Nigeria we don’t have access to much. Our training fields aren’t great. Where we sleep isn’t great. Sometimes we share beds. It’s not good. It’s not good enough.
“In terms of recovery, we don’t have much of any of that. We don’t have access to a gym in camp in Nigeria. There’s a lot that needs to be done. Hopefully more people start to talk about it. Coming here, it’s hard to adjust. We do what we can because we love playing for our country but hopefully they make it easier for us to do our best.
“The turf isn’t great. The grass is rocky, bumps everywhere. The stadium we play on for qualifying – you’d be surprised. I was surprised. You don’t even know where the ball is going to jump at you.
“Our Under-20s went far in their World Cup and when they were sent home they were sleeping in airports for 24 hours. That’s not acceptable. What we have fight for is bigger for us.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The day after Nigeria’s exit from the tournament, FIFPRO released a statement confirming that it is “assisting players in a disagreement with the Nigeria Football Federation concerning bonus payments, camp allowances and expenses, some of which date back to 2021”. The players had chosen to focus on their World Cup performances but now their tournament is over, these issues will take centre stage again.
IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? While Nigeria fight for better conditions at home, the Women’s World Cup will continue with the quarter-finals across Friday and Saturday.