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‘Super Falcons Still Depending On Old Players’ —Banyana Banyana Legend, Modise

‘Super Falcons Still Depending On Old Players’  —Banyana Banyana Legend, Modise

Legendary Banyana Banyana forward Portia Modise has berated the Super Falcons of Nigeria for its reliance on old players, which she attributed for their semi-final defeat to Morocco at the ongoing WAFCON.

The Falcons were reduced to nine players following the sending off of Rasheedat Ajibade and Halimotu Ayinde in Monday’s semi-final with Morocco.


However, the nine-time African champions held Morocco to a 1-1 draw and forced the game to penalty shootout which the North Africans won 5-4.

Modise, 39, who featured for Banyana Banyana from 2000 to 2015 and scored 101 goals in 125 games, posited that the Falcons have lost their winning edge because they keep fielding many aged players that ought to have retired.


“One thing that I see in the Nigerian team is that they don’t want to let go of the senior players. They need to give the young players an opportunity. Experience alone is not going to work,”Modise was quoted by soccernet at a media event organized by FIFA ahead of the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

“I see players that I used to play against, but now I am retired, they are still there. We need to give a chance to the young kids and young generation that are coming.”

Also Read: CAF Awards: Oshoala Makes Final Shortlist; Gift, Waldrum Out

Modise expressed delight that the Falcons did not qualify for this year’s WAFCON final.

“I am so happy that Nigeria is not part of the final. They have been dominating us for so many years.

“But it gives them an opportunity to go back home, to go back to the drawing board and see how to come back with a winning mentality.”

Modise also thinks that the increase in World Cup slots to four for Africa means that more teams get to play on the big stage to help develop women’s football on the continent.

“The game is changing in the minds of a lot of people. It is now left to sponsors that need to take the risk and say they want to grow the women’s game.”

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  • Doleh madi 3 weeks ago

    What is the meaning of WAFCON

  • For saying  this nonsense, i support Morocco to win the cup, imaging inside your small mind you think you are already the champions, if South African don’t time time Morocco will finish with you even before half time  

    • Greatest 3 weeks ago

      Old women!!! Yet 11 young morrocan ladies could not defeat 9 old women. Senseless.

    • Mbambala Moses 3 weeks ago

      Shut up you talk too much
      You said wrong things always because of your big mouth

  • Ololo 3 weeks ago

    She has a point but she allowed emotions and hate spoil her comment..

    A player like Ebi should retire after this tournament, the only goal Morocco scored was due to her inability to cover her lines when the lady ran from the left before she crossed for their goal.. a younger defender will block that dangerous cross..

    ohale is 29 and still has the speed, if Ebi didn’t go off injured there was no way she would have played extra Time without getting tired and not allowing Morocco from scoring.. ohale and the white girl should continue as the preferred central defender..

    In the midfield, chiwelu is old she has done so well for her country and can’t continue to hold that middle, ucheibu should replace her , we should also get other options too..

    The team did well but we must learn from our mistakes and apply the necessary corrections.. world cup is next year and we can’t take those old players to occupy the space the younger ones should take..

    the injury to assisat paved the way for ajibade, it gave her the confidence to carry the team on her shoulder, the red card to ajibade will make gift Monday shine in the third place game.. these are the stars in the team.. ordega should also retire, she has passed her prime

    • Greenturf 3 weeks ago

      Good insight

    • EZOMO 3 weeks ago

      Can u see what u are saying? Before the match she has been playing well perfectly well becos one mistake u call fir her head as if u are perfect in all ur way , so Youngs one’s should just jump unto the team becis they are young and becks we need to replace the old ones ? What if the old ones kept in displacing the youngs ones so wath do u do in the process

      • Ololo 3 weeks ago

        That was not a mistake.. a younger Ebi would have ran faster to cover for that cross.. there is difference between making a mistake and not being able to do something.. a lawyer not being able to perform a surgery is not making a mistake , he just doesn’t have the ability to do that.. Ebi is close to 40 yrs and it is natural for her to lose her speed… Just imagine Ebi playing 90 mins and extra Time, with those Moroccans coming at her with all their lives.. Ebi has done well for the team.. let her retire like a queen that she is.. big respect to Ebi for all her contribution on these years.. we love you Ebi

        • EZOMO 3 weeks ago

          I guess u know more than the Coach, of the coach Deem it fit to use her and continue to use her absolutely fine , tell me among the youngs ones that u can suggest to take her place base on experience

          • @ Ololo is correct. Onome Ebi is already slow. I already said she was partly responsible for the goal Morocco scored. Are we saying she is a bad defender? No. But in reality she can no longer compete with younger attackers (please note the phrase; younger attackers) for speed. Watch the match between Nigeria and Botswana, you’ll also see that she was beaten for speed on a number of occasions by the Botswana ladies.

            The same reason why we say chikwelu should be eased out of the team is the same reason why Onome Ebi should also be eased out of the team. Even Francesca Ordega should no longer be in the starting 11 because she is gradually becoming slow.

            If we want the best for the super falcons, we should put aside all forms of sentiments regardless of which players are concerned. In their prime, these players were exceptional. But today, they can no longer perform as they use to do before. So there is a need to start replacing them.

            There is something that can’t be changed in footballers life. It is age. When age comes knocking at the door, you have to respect and embrace it. otherwise it will become the waterloo of players. These ladies have done so well for Nigeria. They should not allow refusal to heed the call of age to rubbish all their good works in the super falcons and for Nigeria.

        • Why are we very good at medicine after death, if Morocco were 2 women down will you complain if Nigeria wins?, Pls we must always learn to take things the way they appear. For Nigeria to hold on for over 50 minutes till extra time before record breaking more than 40,000 home intimidating crowd speaks volumes. My friend I would rather say you got it wrong because this is the most outstanding performance ever from Nigeria team going by the circumstances surrounding their defeat, Afterall penalties is only a decider,a game of chance. Kudos to them.

    • Omo9ja 3 weeks ago

      Well spoken @Ololo. Nigerian players doesn’t know when to quit but I can guarantee you that before the world cup, Falcons we have grade A friendlies and those aging players will know where they belong to before the world cup. I won’t say more than that. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • Nigerians and their penchant for pressing self-destruct buttons. Coaches select their team based on performance not on any other considerations, if the younger player perform better in training, won’t the coach pick them? Sentiment don’t win matches, there is a lot of difference btw assumption and practical.

    • EZOMO 3 weeks ago

      I wonder o my brother

    • benakay 3 weeks ago

      Cyril, thanks for being the adult in the room.
      Nigerian in general are a very bizarre species. When they were winning, no one said a word about Onome’s age. But once things don’t go well, the termites come out of the woodwork.
      As you said, not a single player has proven to be better than Onome. That is why she is still able to hold her own as a centerback. When that replacement arrives and proves to be better, she will be let go. Until then, let’s learn to appreciate this Hall of Famer for the Super woman she is.

  • Ololo 3 weeks ago

    There are no self destruct buttons here.. Nigeria should be humble to learn from certain constructive criticism..

    The coach should be retained.. for me he did well.. playing for over 40 mins without conceding with 9 players shows he is good tactician, there are coaches who would make silly tactical changes and our opponent will spell Nigeria with 7 goals but he was resolute and compact..

    But there are enough lessons we must learn from this tournament going further, and as we prepare for the world cup next year.. some players should be dropped immediately after the tournament, they should not even be invited for the friendly games in September in the US..

    Players like Ebi, ordega, and chiwelu.. they have done so well for this team but they have passed their prime… An uchibu and a gift Monday should no longer stay on the bench, these players need enough game time . These players are the future of our team.

    • Greenturf 3 weeks ago

      Ebi and Ordega are still relevant until the emergence of much younger and quality players.
      I’m sure the coaches are working on that.

    • Codex 3 weeks ago

      I totally disagree

  • Oakfield 3 weeks ago

    You are “happy Nigeria is not playing in the finals bcs they have been dominating u”. so that was why everybody (including Caf) ganged up against us to end our dominance??? You are very lucky we didn’t make it otherwise we had already set our sights on u to teach you lessons of your lives. The reason why u ain’t playing again is bcs you are no good, see ur dirty mouth. Our beautiful gals despite their age still have what it takes to make waves. Imagine playing against 12 players with only 9 For more than 45mins without faltering. That’s a feat that hasn’t been achieved in the history of football. You can declare a public holiday for the exit of the all time african great, the cup is going to the hosts.

    • ayodele 3 weeks ago

      lucky that the extra time ball played by gift hit the bar,

  • Chima E Samuels 3 weeks ago

    It is the fault of the Coach and not the falcons if the team is still parading Grandmas. Modise is very honest and I see nothing wrong in her comments because Bundesliga teams will also be very excited any time Bayern doesn’t win the German League. Let us be open minded and not get angry for normal things like this. The person was only been honest here and I sense no hate.

    • Oakfield 3 weeks ago

      Yah but u could sense the tone of hate in her remarks. At a point she couldnt hide it anymore. These south Africans hate Nigerians with passion just like their banku brothers.

    • Thanks for your comment @ Chima. Notice that the coach did not start Okobi, Ucheibe, and Kanu in her first match. She used players like Chikwelu and played some of them out of position to accommodate other players.

      It was when the players the coach relied on could not measure up to the required standard that made him look the way of Okobi and Ucheibe. This coach used all the players for friendlies, so he has no excuse for not knowing players that were fit and unfit.

      As far as I’m concerned Chikwelu should no longer be in the team and Onome Ebi has passed her prime. If I’m not mistaken, I think Modise played with Chikwelu and Onome Ebi, so she’s partly correct that we are still relying on old players

    • ayodele 3 weeks ago

      yes she’s honest . waldrum playing safe reason why he filled a player rapped up with bandage in oshoala against SA and left a very tired and ineffective anumunu as 9 against morroco even given her penalty responsibilities which she flopped to send us out of the final game.

  • Proudly naija 3 weeks ago

    I think the best way to silence the negative critics is for one to keep getting better and better, which I believe Nigeria’s national teams are very capable of doing, given the depth of talents and the winning mentality that most Nigerians possess. Let the South Africans and their sympathizers continue to rot in their hatred. They are the losers and time will tell.

  • Kunle 3 weeks ago

    Zambia was cheated for you people and you think you are better than Nigeria. South play nothing against Zambia, may be because of absence of kagtlana.

  • Anthony 3 weeks ago

    I think she is spot on . I heard one of our player is almost 40

  • Ray-T 3 weeks ago

    After all has been said, only the final results will determine the Champions of Africa whether you love it or not They will be Qeens

  • Omo9ja 3 weeks ago

    Well said my people. For me, I will take both positive and negative side of her comment and act on it.

    We all knew that we are hated in Africa but only few people loved us because we are blessed from God too much with so many great things apart from leadership problem we are having, Nigeria is a great nation among others.

    Nonetheless, the young lady said and I quote.

    “I see players that I used to play against, but now I am retired, they are still there. We need to give a chance to the young kids and young generation that are coming.”

    Is she not telling the truth? Aba, she nails it too well kę.

    This is where the hatred comes in.

    Modise expressed delight that the Falcons did not qualify for this year’s WAFCON final.

    “I am so happy that Nigeria is not part of the final. They have been dominating us for so many years”.

    If you can’t beat them then you join them. This is Nigeria we are talking about. We are blessed but the only problem that facing Nigeria is leadership in every aspect of our system. If we can get that right then, other African countries won’t be talking like this.

    Further more,

    “But it gives them an opportunity to go back home, to go back to the drawing board and see how to come back with a winning mentality.”

    Now, you see my points people? We have to be on top of the game always. We have to strategies. I am not seeing her comment as a threat but I am seeing it as a wake up call.

    Other African countries are telling Nigeria to wake up from slumber.

    Those in our sports should wake up.

    Those in charge of our economy, infrastructure, security should wake up.

    2023 is near, don’t vote for old politicians. Enough of APC and PDP. We have two other options apart from APC and PDP Nigerians. We have Omoyele Sowore AAC or LP Peter Obi we can choose from. This is what this young lady is talking about. We should stop replacing the old system Nigerians.

    Tinubu and Atiku are old men, they can not do anything and they brought us to this level we found ourselves today.

    If we get it right in 2023, it is 100 percent guaranteed that other African countries will benefit from our progress. We should all remember that whatever happens to Nigeria will reflects on other African countries, may be good or bad. Nigeria is like “USA and UK”, whenever that happens to those two countries will affect the whole world whether good or bad.

    Lastly, many thanks to you “Modise” for waking us up and we will come back strongly. We move. God bless Africa. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • pompei 3 weeks ago

    What if the young refuse to grow? Or are not growing as expected?
    It’s true that old players should retire, as per normal things. However, for old players to retire, the young players have to step up. If they show by their performance in their clubs that they are ready, chances are the coaches will notice. If the young are not stepping up, and the oldies are STILL THE BEST players available, you can’t fault the coaches for using them.
    Ebi may be up there age-wise, but she is a prime example of what I’m talking about here. You can’t retire your best center back just because she’s getting old. If the younger ones are unable to step up to her level, then she will keep playing until she can’t do it anymore.
    In the case of Chikwelu, the younger ones like Ucheibe, Efih and Otu have demonstrated that they are equal to the task.
    Ordega is 28, so she is still in her prime. Same can be said of the midfield mistress Okobi, who is also 28.
    In the attack, a young player like Monday has played herself into the hearts of Nigerians.
    Players like Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini, Peter Shilton, Gianluigi Buffon, and many others played for their national teams into their late 30s and beyond. CR7 is still playing for Portugal at 37. Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez are both 35, and barring injury, both will be in Qatar in Uruguay’s colors.
    Bottom line is, play your best players at all times. Age has nothing to do with it.
    You can groom young players to take over from the older ones sooner or later, but when a competitive match comes around, PLAY YOUR BEST LEGS AT THAT PARTICULAR TIME.

    • pompei 3 weeks ago

      I forgot about Ibrahimovic, who might be going to Qatar with Sweden at the ripe old age of 40!

      • Ololo 3 weeks ago

        Sweden didn’t qualify for the world cup..

        Your point is valid but I still insist that Ebi should retire. She has lost her pace and would be severely punished if she plays at the women’s world cup. If ebi had played the extra time we would have conceded more goals, the only goal we morrcoo scored was because she wasn’t too slow to cover the space for the Lady to cross that dangerous ball, age was really on her side.. If that happens in the world cup we will pay dearly for it.. plumtre did well when she took her position, there was no way for Morocco to score any goal after ebi left.. Ohala and plumtre are for me the best defenders we currently have.. I love Ebi , she has done well for our team but this is the truth,

        • pompei 3 weeks ago

          Oops…thanks for the correction. Indeed, Sweden will be a no show in Qatar.
          Back to the discussion. Ebi is old. But an old lion is still stronger than a young dog.
          At Ebi’s age, if she is still head and shoulders in quality above the younger defenders, will you retire her just because she is old?
          If I was a coach, and I have 2 players competing for a starting slot. One is 100, and the other is 20. If the 100 yr old is fit and is clearly better than the 20 yr old, guess who I’m selecting to start?
          I agree that Plumptre can play Ebi’s position. However, selection is up to the coaches.
          If we retire Ebi and Plumptre gets injured, what next? Better to keep Ebi in the squad until we have another capable replacement for her, at least. Plumptre is one, we need at least one more.
          Again, in my opinion, let the best available players (old or young) start competitive matches.

        • Dr Banks 3 weeks ago

          @Ololo, do you realise that Plumptre also hasn’t got much pace, if you watch her matches as a fullback you will see that her only major problem is lack of pace. So dropping Ebi for Plumptre will not be a good move as Ebi still has more experience ahead of Plumptre while they both lack pace

          • Ayphillydegreat 3 weeks ago

            To be honest I think Ebi at are age still got more pace than Plumptre. I love both of them, but in all honesty Ebi is at moment a better option at center back than Plumptre. Obviously after the WorldCup when she will be 40 should retire and by then Plumptre and other young ones would’ve learned a thing or two from her and take over the mantle. Onome na my wife oo!! Make anybody no talk anyhow O!! 

  • Ololo 3 weeks ago

    Buiding a team is not an easy job. The last women African cup was in 2018 (4 years ago ) the 2020 edition was cancelled and some old players in the 2018 squad is still in this team , it is not an easy job finding their replacement especially with little grade A friendly games and competive matches.. So I understand why Ebi and chiwelu are still in the team , you don’t drop veterans until you have suitable replacement.. It took games in 2013 afcon to discover Kenneth omerue who replaced Joseph yobo, it would be difficult to replace veterans with mere friendly games..

    This women afcon has produced so many young stars for us.. We now have a gift Monday, ajibada( she was largely on the bench in the last women afcon), we also have a new midfield warrior in ucheibu, uchenna KANU also has matured, our oyibo defender is good to replace Ebi.. Going forward we have so many new players and would do well in the women’s world cup next year

  • Codex 3 weeks ago

    This woman who is spilling a mumbo jumbo of facts and rubbish has forgotten about a certain teammate of her’s still playing for SA or is noko matlou not close to 40,even JVW is in her late 30s as for @ololo comments above I disagree with all due respect,Onome should not be forced to retire simply because she’s old,nah she offers leadership in a team that has few leaders,offers experience in an inexperienced team of players rather it’s the coaches fault that she’s been exposed due to tactical inadequacies a back 3 would reduce the work load she has,look at Chelsea for instance they had a 37 yr old CB flanked by younger ones,Contes Juve had 3 CBs where the aged Barzagli was flanked by the equally aged but energetic Chiellini and a younger Bonucci and so on.my point is you don’t leave your experienced exposed,you protect them with youthful energy while they do what they know how which is offer leadership and help organise the players, though I can’t argue for chikwelu…and if a coach decides to replace old with young,they phase the players out not force them out while slowly but steadily integrate the new, younger players in to avoid disruption and toxicity. Also older players have the ability to read games and react to danger by either positioning themselves where the potential danger is or tell their teammates to go there so I get your point but it’s not advisable to force someone to retire because of age,if they are of value,they can still be useful.

    • benakay 3 weeks ago

      I was going to ask who the fcuk is she, anyway and who on earth made her an authority on Nigerian female football?
      Perhaps she should ask Desire Ellis (the Bayana coach) why grandma Janine van Wyk is on the South African team?

      Arrant nonsense.

      • Codex 3 weeks ago

        With all her goals,how many did she(Portia Modise or whatever her name is) score against Onome when the two teams clashed,she’s lucky to have retired early.

  • Newsmakers 3 weeks ago

    Zambia vs south Africa -Match fixing

    Nigeria Morocco _Match fixing.

    After the sa Zambia game,I knew Nigeria will not win against Morocco,the stage was planned for Morocco south Africa final,for Nigeria it was a big set up they even tried the same VR to shut us down in the dying minutes of the game like they did to Zambia the semi final games should be replayed and I don’t trust this caf president he should not have anything to do in caf he is ruining our football.

    • KangA 3 weeks ago

      Thanks @Newsmaker. How many times have I said it that Motespe is ruining football development in Africa. He has now introduced match-fixing at an official level, and in a grand scale. And the irrational tale one is hearing is that CAF is embarrassed about the SFs winning the competition so many times, so they have to be stopped. Bullshit. As if the competition is being played by a fixed set of players. Every player given a chance at the national level owes it to herself to represent the country creditably. When has it become a crime to strive for excellence?

      As a matter of urgency, FIFA should beam its searchlight on CAF and Motespe for promoting match fixing. The referees who oversaw the recent Nigeria/Moroccan match should be investigated. They can’t go free for their duplicity. 

  • Ochuke 3 weeks ago

    Ebi and ohale are still very good as a defenders, far better than any peering in the tournament. However, Ebi deplets in her speed which is very important in modern football. The team is a very new team with just only six old legs in the persons of oshoala, Ebi, Ohale, Chikwelu and partially Oke . It is a good blend of old and new. Nevertheless, we should look for replacement for this five. Don’t blame the South africa veteran, we may have cheated with her age hence the need to retire early. South Africa are always happy when we are doing better than them in tournaments. We watch them in the final if they will survive 90mins.