The issues of lack of timely payment and poor preparations are arising again with the Nigeria women’s national team ahead of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. American head coach Randy Waldrum sounded off on the difficulties he and his team have encountered with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on an American soccer podcast, bringing plenty of issues to light and even considering a boycott on the eve of the women’s world soccer showcase in Australia and New Zealand.
Waldrum referred to the difficulties during the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, where Nigeria finished in fourth place after the team boycotted training before the third place game against Zambia due to unpaid bonuses. The coach added more details including the banishment of backup goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi by the NFF because the Nigerian footballing body did not “like how she spoke” about the lack of payment.
To replace Oluehi the NFF wanted Waldrum to pick a domestic-based goalkeeper as the backup for the World Cup, something the former University of Pittsburgh and Houston Dash coach would not stand for. “I said ‘no, that my contract says I pick my teams’”, remarked Waldrum on the issue. The coach considered a boycott but decided in the end to travel because he felt it would be unfair to his assistant. Waldrum had plenty more to say about the lack of proper preparations and his damaged relationship with the NFF during the podcast.
Nigeria begin their World Cup campaign on July 21 against Canada before facing co-hosts Australia on July 27 and finishing up their Group B matches against the Republic of Ireland on July 31.
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