Women’s Sports: Nigeria Women’s coach Thomas Dennerby parts ways with national team

Nigeria Women's Football

Nigeria's Football Federation (NFF) announced the resignation of Thomas Dennerby as coach of the national women's team, despite having a year left on his contract.

The news comes after Dennerby threatened to leave due to disputes with the NFF, causing him to excuse himself from their most recent two-legged tie against Ivory Coast. 

Concerns grew over the Swede's desire to remain as manager after he cited that there were several breaches of his contract, including, unpaid wages and a lack of co-operation from the federation. Dennerby's contract was due to run until the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

The 60-year-old led the Super Falcons to the round of 16 at this year's World Cup in France. Other notable achievements under his guidance include a WAFU Nations Cup title earlier this year and an African Cup of Nations title last year.

Untimely payments for the women's national team
However, Dennerby is not the only one pressing the NFF for more support in the women's national team. Members of the Super Falcons themselves have vocally expressed their lack of financial backing, as they are consistently being owed payments by the NFF dating back to three years ago.

During the FIFA Women's World Cup this year, the Nigeria Women's team staged a sit-in protest after their elimination- in the hope of having their unpaid bonuses released. The players were expecting an outstanding participation fee from FIFA and around 2 million Nigerian Naira ($6,537) from the NFF, which has been accumulating for over three years.

In 2016, members of the women's national team protested outside the National Assembly in Abuja to demand unpaid bonuses for winning the women's Africa Cup of Nations.

Unfortunately, the Super Falcons continue to confront this on-going battle of elite female athletes fighting for their pay-check but are the men's national team experiencing this?

The future of the Super Falcons?
Recently, the women's national team suffered another setback as they made an early exit from their Tokyo 2020 qualifications, meaning they will not participate in the Olympic Games next year.

Under caretaker manager Christopher Danjuma, the African Champions drew 1-1 to Ivory Coast but lost the match on away goals. 

Germany v Nigeria: Round Of 16  - 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France

This result means that the Super Falcons will miss the Olympic for the third consecutive time, despite being the only African team to have played in all eight Women's World Cup's since 1991.

As for the future, the federation will look to replace Dennerby, and the women's team will hope to translate their continental dominance on the world stage.

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