The African champions moved one spot to 38th in the world in the first Fifa women’s rankings in 2020 despite five months of inactivity
Joe Erico feels the continent’s dominance of the Nigerian women’s team is near an end despite the country’s rise in the Fifa women’s rankings on Friday.
The Super Falcons failed to qualify for Tokyo 2020 following a third-round elimination – a third successive botched attempt to Olympic return and a second miss under Amaju Pinnick’s leadership.
Despite five months hiatus since last October, the nine-time African champions bounced back from three spots back in December to climb up one spot to 38th position in the latest Fifa ratings.Amid the cheering news, the former Super Eagles assistant coach is troubled by the Super Falcons’ dwindling fortunes and urged the NFF to set up a strategic plan to help the team to chase glory.
“The Super Falcons retaining the number one spot in Africa and the 38th position in the world in the latest Fifa rankings is impressive,” Erico told Guardian.
“But if things are not put right from this point, Nigeria might be witnessing the last era of the Super Falcons’ dominance.
“You should be aware that the Super Falcons retaining the number one spot in Africa is because they are still African champions.
“Their performance of getting to the second round of the Women’s World Cup earned them a step higher in the latest rankings.”
However, the Swedish coach left his post after leading the team past Algeria in the African Olympic Qualifiers last September and brought his reign to an abrupt end after just 18 months in charge.
Erico hailed the impact of Denner by on the women’s team before his exit while urging the NFF to resolve varying administrative issues before naming a substantive successor.
“After the World Cup, the team has been facing challenges of players’ unpaid allowances, the foreign coach resigning out of frustration and the Falcons not getting the 2020 Olympics ticket,” the former international continued.
“Up until this moment, the team has not gotten a substantive coach. From my point of view, I think the foreign coach Thomas Dennerby, did a good job with the girls during his tenure with the team.
“For things to move in the right direction, the NFF should investigate the reasons the coach left so that they can correct the deficiency in the team before a new coach takes over.
“For the future of the Falcons to be bright, the NFF should also look at the positive and negative sides of the past progress of the team in a bid to create a framework that would enable the women’s national team not only to dominate Africa but also excel at world competitions in the nearest future.”
Nigeria will face Niger or Togo in June in a bid to qualify and defend their African Women’s Cup of Nations crown later this year.