The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF has moved to dispel reports claiming the body has sacked Super Falcons head coach Randy Waldrum, Soccernet.ng reports.
Waldrum has been in charge of the Nigerian female national team for almost three years. The highlight of his time was leading the Super Falcons to the knockout round of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Reports surfaced in the local media that the NFF had parted ways with Waldrum following a press release by the body.
In a statement released on Monday, the NFF revealed plans to reconfigure the setup of the coaching crew for all the female national teams.
“The Board resolved to be thorough and ensure meritocracy in the composition of new coaching crews for the various Women National Teams (Super Falcons, Falconets, and Flamingos) within the shortest possible time, as the Super Falcons and Falconets have crucial qualifying fixtures for major championships in a matter of weeks,” the statement said.
“While commending the Super Falcons for an impressive outing at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023, in which the team reached the Round of 16 and exited the tournament without losing a match in regulation period, the Board reiterated that all hands must be on deck to ensure that the momentum is maintained and even improved with adequate support and encouragement of women’s football in all ramifications.”
But NFF boss Ibrahim Gusau has clarified that Waldrum remains the head coach of the Super Falcons.
Gusau said, “We have given the Technical Committee the go-ahead to hold talks with Randy Waldrum as we consider an extension of his current contract with the NFF.
“They have to do this quickly as the team has a Women Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match next week.
“The man has done well by leading the team to an impressive outing at the FIFA World Cup.”
The American gaffer is in talks with NFF towards extending his contract, which expires at the end of September.
Waldrum and the NFF
The NFF appointed Waldrum on October 5, 2020, because of his excellent work coaching women’s soccer, specifically in the USA, from the college and university level and at the professional level.
While in charge of the Super Falcons, Waldrum has retained his appointment with the University of Pittsburgh women’s soccer team, the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Under Waldrum’s guidance, the Super Falcons qualified for the 2022 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations, moving quickly away from the disappointment of missing out on the 2020 Olympic Games.
However, the American gaffer’s magic touch deserted him in Morocco as he could only lead the Falcons to a fourth-place finish at the WAFCON.
Nevertheless, the team secured a spot at the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Interestingly, on the eve of the Mundial, Waldrum fell out with the NFF after he faulted the football body for not paying his salary, mismanaging FIFA’s grant, and not backing his pre-tournament plans.
But despite the NFF publicly chastising Waldrum for his outburst, he was allowed to keep his job with the girls.
It would be their best decision yet, as Waldrum and the Super Falcons produced some of their best football at the World Cup.
The former African champions lost none of their games against Canada, Australia, Ireland, and England in regulation time before bowing out on penalties to the latter in the Round of 16.
Waldrum has made public his desire to continue as the coach of the Super Falcons.