'Regrettable' – Super Falcons coach Waldrum apologize to Nigerian media
After Thursday’s WAFCON win over Botswana, Waldrum provoked the Nigerian media.
Super Falcons head coach Randy Waldrum has apologised for his unsavoury comments toward the Nigerian media and clarified that he holds the press in the highest esteem.
This comes a day after the Super Falcons grabbed their first win at the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) by defeating Botswana 2-0 in their second group game, thanks to goals from Ifeoma Onumonu and Christy Ucheibe.
Waldrum speaking on Friday stated that his stance towards the media ahead of Thursday’s game was a regrettable one.
What did Waldrum say at Thursday’s post-match conference?
On Friday morning, social media erupted with reactions aplenty following the statement credited to Nigeria coach Randy Waldrum at the ongoing Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON).
In reacting to a much-needed win though, Waldrum lodged his foot firmly in his mouth.
“Quite honestly, the media in Nigeria is very negative,” he said in the post-match press conference. “We just don’t want that in our camp… we don’t need distractions in our camp.”
Waldrum backtracks, calls comment “regrettable”
Reacting to Friday’s backlash, the American said: “I know Nigerians love their football teams and want the teams to win all the time. They can still be supportive while criticizing us in a constructive way.
“The comments are regrettable and I withdraw them in entirety. Actually, I will say the statement did not come out the way I intended,” he added.
“I hold the media everywhere, including Nigeria, in high regard and I only wish they could be a little more empathetic to us when we lose or draw matches.
“The truth is that I am keen that nothing distracts the team at this point. I apologize for the way it has come out and the fact that I have hurt a critical sector of Nigerian society.”
Waldrum insists a World Cup ticket is a must
According to Waldrum, the Super Falcons still have the FIFA World Cup ticket and retaining the AWCON title as their main goals in the tournament in Morocco.
“We know what the Women Africa Cup means to Nigerians and we remain fully focused despite the opening-day setback,” he said.
“We are determined not only to win a ticket to the FIFA World Cup but also to retain the trophy that Nigeria has won nine times previously.
With only three points from two games, the Super Falcons will take on group whipping lots Burundi in Rabat on Sunday, with the minimum win to guarantee a place in the championship’s quarter-finals.