Super Falcons’ exit from the FIFA Women’s World Cup left Nigeria/ Liverpool Ladies’ FC forward, Asisat Oshoala devastated, top football official reveals.
Oshoala who beat Veronica Boquete of Spain, Germany’s Nadine Kessler, Scotland’s Kim Little and Brazilian forward Marta to win the maiden edition of BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year award last month failed to impress at the Canada 2015 tournament. This really got her depressed because she knew she failed to meet up to expectations.
“Shortly after the BBC award was announced, we noticed that Oshoala was behaving somehow. She even went on twitter to say that she does not know what was happening to her. Oshoala became so depressed,” the official said.
“The psychologist was with her 24/7 and even other officials, including our leader of delegation (Mrs. Dilichukwu Onyedima) spent time with Oshoala, taking to her not to allow the weight of the BBC Award depress her. But she kept saying that the focus on her was becoming too much. I am sure she is yet to overcome the depression because Oshoala didn’t really perform to expectation in this World Cup. This is not the Oshoala we used to know.”
She continued. “After we came from behind to draw 3-3 with Sweden, we were all expecting the team to go all out and finish Australia in our second group game. We actually relied so much on Oshoala to prove her worth upfront, but that was not to be.”
“The Oshoala we used to know would rubbish those Australian defenders. On a good day, she would have used that game to announce herself in the competition, but she played as if nothing was at stake. At a point, I began to ask myself if it was the same Oshoala that was playing on the pitch. There was no cohesion in her movement and those amazing skills were nowhere to be found. I won’t blame her much because she is still very young. She may have allowed depression overcome her in this World Cup.”
Oshoala was not in the mood to speak after the team’s elimination from the World Cup. NFF board member and chairperson, Women Football Committee, Dilichukwu Onyedima who also noticed her change in attitude held private talks with her.
“The team psychologists really worked on her. I also called her for private talk, where I advised her to focus her energy on the World Cup and forget the attention she is getting from people. I even told her to call her parents to pray for her because I felt that prayer from parents has a great impact on a child. But let us not put all the blames on Oshoala for our inability to do well in this World Cup.
“The NFF actually gave this team the financial and moral support they needed to do well. But that is one of the things in football. We will go back and plan for the future.” Onyedimma said.