Like Waldrum in Nigeria’s NFF, Riise in Norway’s NFF becomes the latest of Women’s World Cup coaching casualties

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It is barely two weeks since the 2023 Women’s World Cup ended, some of the coaches that led teams have been thrown into the labour markets.

In Nigeria, Randy Waldrum’s contract was not renewed, despite the Super Falcons exceeding wildest imagination and almost got into the quarter-finals.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) did not renew his contract. Another NFF, this time, the Norges Fotballforbund Forside  (Norway Football Federation in English) announced parting ways with Coach Hege Riise making her the latest manager to lose job following the recent Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Brazil parted ways with Swede Pia Sundhage earlier this week, while the contract of Ireland coach Vera Pauw was not renewed, despite her leading the country to the finals of their first major women’s tournament.

Even cup-winning coach, Jorge Vilda is not spared the axe. Spain’s football federation (RFEF) is preparing to sack him.

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Since the end of the tournament, 10 of the 32 nations have parted ways with their coach, and players from Spain, who won the World Cup for the first time, have said they will not play for coach Jorge Vilda again, amid the fallout from a kiss scandal involving his boss, federation chief Luis Rubiales.

Norway suffered a shock 1-0 loss to co-hosts New Zealand in their opening game and then Riise benched star winger Caroline Graham Hansen for their second group match, a goalless draw with Switzerland.

Graham Hansen’s angry comments after that game grabbed the headlines in Norway and though she was reinstated for the final group game against the Philippines, which they won, they were then outclassed in a defeat to Japan in the last 16.

The subsequent evaluation of Norway’s performance has seen Riise – arguably the country’s greatest female player and a World Cup winner in 1995 – move into a new role in the NFF promoting the women’s game.

“Through the evaluation work and in conversations with Hege Riise, we have seen that we have differing views on the role of the national team coach for this team,” NFF president Lise Klaveness – herself a former international – said in a statement.

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Once a superpower in the women’s game, Norway now face the prospect of finding a new coach in an ultra-competitive market, and the new Nations League is looming at the end of September.

“The federation board is working to put in place a temporary solution for the autumn games in the Nations League. The solution will be presented as soon as it is ready,” the NFF said in a statement.

 

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