By Amaechi Agbo
Cabals in the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF are strongly working against the wishes of the Super Falcons coach, Tomas Dennerby over his demand to retain his assistant coach, Maureen Mmadu in the team’s technical bench.
Sources in the Glass House and even in the team camp in Abuja have confidently told this paper that the Swedish coach has continued to insist on retaining coach Mmadu or nobody else.
A source said “I do not know what the squabbles are but there is a high-wired campaign against Mmadu. A whole lot of people in the Glass House are confused on why they should let her go. She remains the only ex Super Falcons coach in the team and now they are scheming to push her out. She has the wealth of experience to do this job but everyone is confused on the rush to replace her,” the source who spoke in confidence said.
Coach Maureen Mmadu was engaged as the Super Falcons Assistant coach in 2017. But following the team’s ouster from the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, she was dropped after the NFF declined to renew her contract.
How Initial Plans to remove Mmadu failed.
Plans to unseat versatile Coach Maureen Mmadu from her position first came to the fore during the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations, AWCON. During the tournament in Ghana, the Avaldsnes of Norway Coach was forced out of the technical bench of the team and her position taken up by a curator.
She was regularly seen coming from the fans’ stand to come and monitor the players during substitution training and offer technical advice as well.
The status quo remained till the final match. NFF and the team handlers turned deaf ears to the anomaly.
With the same plans not executed in France World Cup this year, the cabals have now come up with a stiffer demand for her outright removal having seen that they have a greater chance to succeed this time around but they face an obstacle.
I Need coach Maureen but talk to the NFF – Dennerby.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with our Editor, Coach Thomas Dennerby made it clear that he needs Coach Maureen Mmadu as his assistant but directed our editor to speak to NFF.
“The only thing is that the decision is from the NFF, it is not from me. So you have to ask NFF about it. Direct all your questions to NFF. I need Coach Maureen Mmadu but talk to NFF
“Please there is nothing I can say now. Direct your questions to the NFF, please talk to them,” Dennerby said in a telephone chat.
A sports newspaper, Sportinglife reported over the weekend that the former international was dropped alongside other local coaches that have been sharing the heat of the team with head coach Thomas Dernneby.
The dropped coaches, the paper said, had to go as the contract they signed did not extend beyond the World Cup in France where Nigeria crashed out in the round of 16.
Coach Mmadu Replaced By Wemimo
To ensure that there is no vacuum left and perfect their strategies, Coach Mmadu has been replaced by Wemimo Oni who is currently with the Falconets and will join the senior national team on her return from the Africa Games in Morocco where Falconets have been pitched against South Africa, Cameroon and Zambia in Group B. Wemimo has been with the Falconets for 8 years.
The African Games formerly called the All-African Games will hold from August 16-30 in Moroccan cities of Rabat, Cassablanca, ElJadida and Khemisset.
Nigeria will be competing in 23 sports at the Games. At the 2015 edition in Congo Brazzaville, Nigeria featured in 21 events and finished in the top five with 47 Gold, 55 Silver and 42 Bronze.
There were calls in certain quarters for the Super Falcons head coach Thomas Dernneby to be shown the door with many insisting that the Swede has not made any input into the team hence the poor show in France.
The Nigeria football Federation (NFF) have however chosen to allow him continue just like his Super Eagles counterpart Gernot Rohr has been told to continue his job despite submissions in some quarters that the performance of the team at the last Nations cup in Egypt where the Eagles clinched the third place, was below par.
NFF Remains Mute
It was further gathered that one strategy the cabals adopted was telling Coach Dennerby about reports in some media calling for his sack. But to their chagrin, their scheme failed as the Swedish tactician was not ready to buy into their ploy.
Our source said that the cabals are determined in seeing Mmadu axed told Coach Dennerby about reports in the media calling for his sack but she dismissed them telling them that “Coach Mmadu remains the best hand to replace me.”
It is understood that the NFF, torn in-between the situation, is yet to make an official statement on the changes in the technical crew of the Super Falcons.