Gusau will lead the flamingos’ support against Colombia at the 2022 FIFA World Cup
When the Nigerian U17 women’s football team, the Flamingos, play Colombia in the semi-finals of this year’s FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup on Wednesday in Goa, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau, president of the Nigerian Football Federation, will be leading the support group.
The NFF president will be present for the semi-final match at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa. He has spoken with the players and officials numerous times during their prior tournament games. The first semi-final will begin at 4 p.m. (12 p.m. Nigeria time), and three and a half hours later, Germany and Spain will face off in the second semi-final.
The Flamingos will advance to Sunday’s championship game with a win over Colombia, who eliminated Tanzania, the only other African team to reach the knockout round, 3-0 in the last eight.
From the quarterfinal stage on, the Flamingos’ journey in India has borne an uncanny resemblance to that of the Nigeria U20 girls’ Falconets in Germany twelve years ago.
The Falconets defeated the United States 4-2 in a penalty shootout in the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup quarterfinal in 2010, which was the first international competition for any Nigerian team under the president of Alhaji Aminu Maigari. The teams had tied 1-1 in regulation time in Augsburg.
Four days later, Colombia was defeated in the semifinals by Germany, and the Falconets faced up against them in the championship match thanks to a goal by Ebere Orji at the Bielefelder Alm in Bielefeld.
The Flamingos are the first Nigerian team to compete in a competition while Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau is president. After a 1-1 draw in the World Cup quarterfinal against the United States, they defeated them on penalties and now face Colombia.
The fact that Germany, Nigeria’s opponents in the final in Germany 12 years ago, is now participating in the Indian semifinals is also notable. Against Wednesday, they take on Spain in the second semifinal.