Officials of the Nigeria Football Federation have allegedly rejected coach Randy Waldrum’s roster for the Women’s World Cup, which begins July 20 in Australia and New Zealand.
This is coming just as the federation paid the coach seven months’ salary ($70,000) out of the 14 months owed him.
A source in the Falcons camp told our correspondent that some NFF officials asked the coach to include an unnamed home-based player in his squad, but the American refused.
This, according to our source, irked the officials, who allegedly vowed that if he didn’t include the player, they won’t allow him to bring in his American assistant for the World Cup.
“They want the coach to take a local player he has never had in camp before nor seen in person. They said if he refused to do so, then they won’t let him bring his assistant coach,” our source said.
It was also learnt that the initial plan was to have the Falcons camped in Abuja for three weeks from June 20, from where Waldrum would select his final World Cup squad, but the NFF allegedly jettisoned the plan and the Falcons would now travel straight to Australia July 2 for the World Cup.
The new arrangement gives Waldrum just 10 days to prepare his squad for the World Cup.
“Yes, there is information that the team will not camp in Abuja again, and we now leave straight for Australia on July 2,” our source added.
“If this is the case, it means we have only 10 days to prepare for a World Cup!
“It’s a two-day flight, so we will be arriving on July 4. Then you need two days of recovery from travel. So, we start on July 6 to 12.
“July 13 is the day before an exhibition, July 14 is the exhibition and we have a day of recovery. Then we have July 16 and 18 left as our first game is on the 20th. That’s 10 days to prepare.
“One month before a World Cup they have disrupted the team’s plans, after already cutting a camp that was promised from three weeks to 10 days.”
When our correspondent reached out to the NFF president, Ibrahim Gusau, for clarification on the issue, he directed our correspondent to the General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi.
Calls and WhatsApp messages sent to the NFF General Secretary Dr Mohammed Sanusi on the issues were not replied as of the time of filing this report.
Efforts by our correspondent to reach the NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire, to comment on the issue also proved abortive.
Olajire didn’t pick up our correspondent’s calls, and he also didn’t respond to a text message sent to him as of the time of filing this report.
Waldrum also refused to comment on the issues, when our correspondent sent him a message on the latest development in his squad.
“I can’t talk about this now,” he said.
The Falcons are in Group B of the World Cup with Olympic champions Canada, co-hosts Australia and the Republic of Ireland.