If all goes as planned, coach of Sweden’s female national team, Pia Sundhage may takeover Nigeria’s female national team, Super Falcons as the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has reportedly opened talks with her.
Sundhage was in charge of the Swedish team when they clashed with Falcons in their opening Group D game of the 2015 World Cup in Canada which ended in a 3-3 draw.
“Top officials are keen to have the highly-rated coach take over the Falcons,” an NFF official was quoted as saying by AfricanFootball.com.
“The Falcons have very talented players like (Asisat) Oshoala and (Desire) Oparanozie, but their problem is basically coaching and that is why they opened talks with Pia in Canada during the World Cup.”
However, the fate of present coach of the women’s national team, Edwin Okon, is unknown, as officials of the federation did not disclose if he would be given the boot or made to work with the Swede if employed by the NFF.
Okon has been criticised for lacking the technical quality to head the technical crew of the Falcons, despite winning the 2014 African Women Championship.
After an outstanding performance in the thrilling 3-3 draw against the Swedes, the Falcons’ excesses were exposed in their second Group D game against Australia, which they lost 2-0. The African champions struggled to match the more creative Aussies and were dealt a huge blow, thus putting their qualification hopes to the knockout stage for the first time in 16 years, in jeopardy.
“We don’t know yet, if Okon will play any role under Sundhage, if she agrees to manage the Falcons. That has not been decided yet. But the team needs a new coach to manage the new set of young players in the team, who are the future of women’s football in Nigeria,” an official said.
Sundhage, the 2012 FIFA World Coach of the Year, won two Olympic gold medals with the United States women national team in 2008 and 2012. She was also in charge of the American women, when they lost the final of the 2011 Women’s World Cup to Japan.
As a manager, she’s also won the Four Nations Tournament (2008 and 2011), the Algarve Cup (2008, 2010 and 2011), while she was named the 2003 WUSA Coach of the Year.
The 55-year-old was handed the Sweden national team job in 2012 after agreeing a four-year deal with the Swedish FA. Her first major tournament with the Swedes was the 2013 European championship, which Sweden hosted, but Sundhage’s team lost 1-0 in the semi-final to eventual winners Germany.
Ripples… without borders, without fears