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WE PLAYED TO REDEEM NIGERIA'S IMAGE – FALCONETS

By NBF News

Victorious Falconets at the Murtala Muhammed Airport on their arrival yesterday from the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup event . PIX: AYODELE OJO.

Victorious National Under-20 Women team players have revealed that the burning desire to redeem Nigeria's battered image in the round leather game circle spurred to them to excel in Germany. Falconets returned from the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup to a rousing welcome at the Muritala Mohammed Airport in Lagos Monday evening.

Prior to the young girls departure to Germany, Nigeria's Football House was in decay, which prompted President Goodluck Jonathan to ban all national teams from international competitions.

The President later reversed his decision and unbanned the teams, which necessitated the Falconets' hurried departure to Germany, just a week to the kick off the tournament.

Daily Sunsport learnt from the players that the only way they could appreciate the gesture of the President, was to fight with their last breathe by putting up a performance that would gladden the hearts of Nigerians and reposition the country in the football world.

Overwhelmed by the large crowd of admirers who thronged the airport to salute them for their heroic exploits at the world stage, the players felt fulfilled that their sojourn in Germany had brought succour to football loving Nigerians.

'We are happy and feel honoured to play for our country.

'When we were leaving for Germany, we were not celebrated because there were many problems facing our football then.

'To help in solving that same problem, we prayed that Nigerian football would not die and vowed to make a difference.

'We are grateful to God for the revival in our football today and equally grateful to Nigerians for the support and love which they have shown on us.'

Meanwhile, Falconets and their technical crew were in Abuja Tuesday where they were received and feted by First Lady Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan.