FIFA’s Secretary General, Fatma Samoura has showered praise on the Super Falcons following their impressive performance at the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup, Owosports.com.ng gathered .
The Nigerians who were the lowest ranked side in Group B became the first African team to finish unbeaten in the group phase of the competition.
Fatma Samoura who hailed the Falcos for their performance said their feat had brought joy to women’s football as a whole.
She also believed their success would inspire African women and girls, and would help to raise the profile of women’s football in Africa.
“I must say that personally, I am proud of you. As you know, I am the first woman to be Secretary General of FIFA since the organization was founded in 1904, and I am also an African. So, I am easily excited by any accomplishment that glorifies women’s football and African football,” Samoura said as she addressed the nine-time African champions at the dressing room after the match at Lang Park.
In company with Nigeria’s leader of delegation, Chief Felix Anyansi-Agwu (NFF 1st Vice President) and NFF Board Members Alhaji Sharif Rabiu Inuwa, Rt. Hon. Margaret Icheen, Alhaji Babagana Kalli and Ms Aisha Falode, Samoura said the performance of the Falcons is a terrific inspiration to other African teams at the tournament.
“You have won one match here, as Morocco and Zambia, but you are the only team that has made it to the knock-out stage yet. I am also excited because when FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced my name as the new FIFA Secretary-General, I was in Nigeria working for the United Nations. So, Nigeria is a second home for me.
“You should continue to believe in yourselves and play as a team, and be ready to lift the African flag higher in this tournament.”
Gelson Fernandes, the Director for Africa at FIFA, himself a former Swiss international player, urged the Super Falcons to retain their self-belief and be ready to confront and surmount every obstacle on their way to the Final.
The 0-0 draw with Republic of Ireland on ensured that the Falcons finished runners-up of Group B and will now face the winner of Group D in the round of 16.