By China Acheru
Randy Waldrum will stay on as the Super Falcons coach and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Not even the previously influential Lagos State Based sporting media can cut short his stay in Nigeria.
Why do we want him gone?
There was really a knee-jerk reaction after the Super Falcons’ first game at the Women Africa Cup of Nations, WAFCON, that darn 2-1 loss to arch rivals, South Africa, and the media went all out to get him, all guns blazing too. A lot of critics felt the team should not have lost to the South Africans, but why not?
Some felt the right players were not fielded and those who played were out of position, while others blamed his choice of substitution. In fact, Randy was a disaster and had to go.
But could the anger also be from the fact the media, especially those who travelled to Morocco? There were insinuations and in fact accusations from them of being snubbed by the coach and not able to get any content from the team. He refused to give media access to the players saying their presence would be a distraction and they needed full concentration against South Africa. They were left alone and he lost. It then became a constant thing of not allowing the media access to the players leading to anger.
The Nigerian media in Morocco was angry and reported to the Nigerian media in Nigeria and we were all angry. Then again, Randy did not cover himself in glory by his opening day result and performance, so the early flames of anger turned into an inferno. Randy had to go!
Then the Nigerian media in morocco again accused him before the game against Cameroon in the quarter-final. Journalists were told to go to Casablanca from Rabat for a measly fifteen-minute session with the players, but the coach was said to have stopped the interactions after just five minutes. Again the daggers were drawn, but Nigeria won and qualified for the World Cup.
In the semi-final against Morocco, Ifeoma Onumonu played on though she seemed fatigued to almost everyone watching the game, the coach kept her on. Only a few people should really blame the coach for the loss against Morocco, considering the circumstances around the loss, but to Zambia in the third place match? That should have been unpardonable and Randy Waldrum must go! A chant that did not last up to one week.
Who will sack the coach?
Herein lies the problem. Randy Waldrum will not be sacked, and this is not because the Nigeria Football Federation may not want to, be because they just can not.
Firstly, the question asked should be, why do we need a new coach? For better performance? Better results or just to teach Randy a lesson for not respecting us?
If the plan is better performance, it won’t happen, because the Super Falcons will not do better than they showed in Morocco. In fact, it will be worse at the World Cup when they come head to head with the European and South American countries.
If the idea is better results, it again will not happen, unless Nigerians are under the illusions that the Super Falcons can win the World Cup or even get to the semi-finals. Nigeria does not have the players, doesn’t have the organization, and does not have the mentality to do that.
There is no structural plan of development for the women game or any game in Nigeria and no coach brought to the team right now can work any magic sacking Randy Waldrum will simply be playing to the gallery and the NFF should have enough sense to know this.
The bottom line is that we are stuck with him until, at least the World Cup. Let us pray. That is what Nigerians know how to do best.