Amaju Pinnick, the president of the Nigerian Football Federation and a member of the FIFA Council, has denounced the use of laser lights against the Super Falcons during their semi-final loss to host Morocco on Monday, July 18.
During the penalty shootout at the jam-packed Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, Morocco, Moroccan fans aimed dazzling laser lights towards the Falcons players’ eyes to obstruct their performance.
Despite the unpleasant circumstances, the nine-time champions were reduced to 10 players when Rasheedat Ajibade and midfielder Halimat Ayinde were sent off.
In a statement by the NFF media team, Pinnick while hailing the Falcons for their gallant display despite all odds also condemned the laser lights directed at the players.
“Of course, we would have been happy to be in the final and chase a 10th title. But I am happy with the performance of the team and the way and manner they approached the game despite all sorts of setbacks and intimidation,” Pinnick said.
“To play 50 minutes of a game with only nine players is not an easy task. The Super Falcons gave their all and were truly fabulous. They had the ‘Nigeria spirit’ in them and showed a sense of patriotism, were dogged, and refused to give up. Penalties are forever a lottery, so it could have gone either way. I commend the team for the outing.
“Our girls did a massive job on a night they were not only depleted but challenged by laser lights trained on their eyes by the crowd. I am enamoured by their resilience and tenacity.”