‘I’ve seen what England has access to, In Nigeria we don’t have access to much – Super Falcons striker, Ifeoma Onumonu laments

Super Falcons, striker Ifeoma Onumonu has opened up about the ‘unacceptable’ resources in Nigeria following their Women’s World Cup exit to England.

The Super Falcons faced England in the last-16 tie but lost on penalties. The score line ended 4-2.

Onumonu, who led the line for the African nation against the Lionesses, highlighted the difference in the support that both teams received back home.

She told the Guardian: ‘I’ve seen what England has access to. In Nigeria, we don’t have access to much.

‘Our training fields aren’t great. Where we sleep isn’t great. Sometimes we share beds.

‘It’s not good enough. In terms of recovery, we don’t have much of any of that. We don’t have access to a gym in a camp in Nigeria. There’s a lot that needs to be done.’

The 29-year-old who plays for Gotham FC added that it was hard to adjust to the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

She said: ‘We do what we can because we love playing for our country but hopefully they make it easier for us to do our best Back home the pitches aren’t great. The grass is rocky, bumps everywhere. The stadium we play in for qualifying, you’d be surprised.

She also revealed that the under-20s side were ‘sleeping in airports for 24 hours’ after they were knocked out of the U20 World Cup in the quarter-finals last year.

‘That’s not acceptable. What we have to fight for is bigger than us,’ she said.

The NFF has been heavily criticised for failing to pay players, poor facilities, a cancellation of a pre-tournament camp and interference in selection matters and staff appointments.

Earlier this week, the global players union’ FIFPRO released a statement on behalf of the Nigeria Women’s National team confirming they will assist the players in their ongoing dispute.

‘Following the Nigeria women’s national team’s elimination from the FIFA Women’s World Cup, FIFPRO can confirm it is assisting players in a disagreement with the Nigeria Football Federation concerning bonus payments, camp allowances, and expenses, some of which date back to 2021.

‘During the World Cup, the players expressed the desire to remain focused on their performance without making public statements or facing other distractions. However, the Super Falcons believe that it is now time for the Nigeria Football Federation to honour their commitments and pay the outstanding amounts.

‘The team is extremely frustrated that they have had to pursue the Nigeria Football Federation for these payments before and during the tournament and may have to continue doing so afterwards. It is regrettable that players needed to challenge their own federation at such an important time in their careers.

‘FIFPRO will continue to work with the players to ensure their contractual rights are honoured and the outstanding payments are settled.’

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