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Women’s AFCON 2024: NFF delays decision on Waldrum, Madugu

Women’s AFCON 2024
Women’s AFCON 2024: NFF delays decision on Waldrum Madugu

he Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, is set to take a final position on Randy Waldrum as the Super Falcons’ manager.

The Super Falcons recently booked their place at the 2024 CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, WAFCON, in Morocco next year.

FLYINGEZE BLOG reports that the Falcons defeated Cape Verde 2-1 last Tuesday in the second leg playoff under the guidance of interim coach Justin Madugu as Waldrum’s situation is currently unclear.

They progressed 7-1 on aggregate, having won the first leg 5-0.

The final list of twelve teams – Nigeria, Algeria, Botswana, Ghana, Mali, Morocco (host), Senegal, Tanzania, South Africa (Reigning champions), The Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and Tunisia – was confirmed on December 6 after the final round of qualifiers on December 5.

Recall that Waldrum took over the Super Falcons job in 2020 after he signed a three-year deal with the NFF, which ended October 31.

The American gaffer criticised the NFF for failing to prepare the Super Falcons effectively for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and also called out the Nigeria football body for failing to pay his wages that of the players.

He eventually decided to stay away from the team over an undecided contract extension with the NFF.

Waldrum, who is also the head coach of the University of Pittsburgh Panthers women’s soccer team, also missed Super Falcons’ CAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying first and second leg against Ethiopia on October 25 and 31, respectively, as Madugu took charge of the team.

Under Waldrum’s guidance, the Super Falcons qualified for the 2022 WAFCON.

However, he could only lead the team to a fourth-place finish at the 2022 WAFCON.

The Super Falcons also booked a spot at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Interestingly, on the eve of the tournament, the 67-year-old fell out with the NFF after he faulted the organisation for not paying his salary, mismanaging FIFA’s grant, and not backing his pre-tournament plans.

But despite the NFF publicly chastising Waldrum for his outburst, he was allowed to keep his job with the team.

Waldrum has even made public his desire to continue as the head coach of the Super Falcons.

However, with Madugu currently working as interim coach of the Super Falcons ahead of next year’s WAFCON, neither the NFF nor Waldrum has come out to say if he is still the manager of the eleven-time WAFCON champions.

Speaking with FLYINGEZE BLOG on Monday, NFF, Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire, suggested that the Nigeria football body is set to make a final position on Waldrum ahead of the 2024 WAFCON.

According to Olajire, when the NFF technical committee and the board takes a position on Waldrum, it will be made public.

“When a position is taken [regarding Waldrum], you will know, it will be made public,” Olajire said.

“When a position is taken by the [NFF’s] technical committee and the board, it will be made known to the public,” he reiterated.

Also speaking with FLYINGEZE BLOG on the development, Audu Ojo, the head coach of Dawaki Rangers, insisted that Madugu has what it takes to lead the Super Falcons to Morocco because he has worked with Waldrum and has acquired experience.

Ojo said, “Maduke has acquired the experience to lead the team to Morocco. He has worked with Waldrum before. It will be great for him considering the fact that he is a local coach.

“In Waldrum’s absence, he guided the team to secure qualification for the WAFCON. I believe he would do a good job if given the opportunity.

“I just want to call on the NFF to as a matter of urgency resolve its contract issue with Waldrum as soon as possible before next year.”

He added, “This will go a long way to help the team. It would also help Madugu who is serving as interim coach to know his stance with the team.

“We need to know NFF’s final position on Waldrum. If they want him to continue with the team or not, then they need to come out and clarify it.”

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