Florence Omagbemi was born on February 2nd, 1975 and hails from Delta state of Nigeria. The player who has represented the Nigerian female national team, playing the positions of defender and midfielder is part of Nigeria’s mould of elite athletes and exemplary sportswomen. Omagbemi has made history and is still making history in Nigeria’s football. Having been part of the Nigeria women’s national football team across four FIFA Women’s World Cups, several Africa Women Cup of Nations and at the 2000 Summer Olympics. She has earned what it takes to be called a Legend in her stock of trade.
Omagbemi: A Stellar Career
Omagbemi played for the Nigeria women’s national football team for over a decade, appearing in four FIFA Women’s World Cups including being a member of the team that reached the second round in 1999 before losing to Brazil. As captain, she won the Africa Women Cup of Nations with the “Super Falcons” on four occasions; in 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004. She was also part of the Nigerian team which competed the Summer Olympics for the first time in the 2000 tournament in Australia.
But Florence Omagbemi has transcended success just as a player; she has been able to transition smoothly from the pitch to the dugout after an illustrious playing career. She began her coaching career with several American based youth teams, before being called up to be the assistant coach for the Nigeria women’s national under-20 football team. While in that position, the team reached the semifinals of the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup before being eliminated by the United States. Omagbemi was named as an interim coach of the senior national side for the 2016 Africa Women Cup of Nations. This was as a result of the fact that Nigeria had been without a coach since the sacking of Christopher Danjuma following a poor and dismal performance of the team at the 2015 African Games. A month prior to the start of the tournament, it was revealed that Omagbemi had gone unpaid by the Nigeria Football Federation. In response, the NFF made assurances that she would be paid before the team departed for the tournament.
Omagbemi: Honours and Worthy of More
While flying the popular green and white colours as a team player, Omagbemi won the African Women’s Championship four times: in 1998, in 2000, in 2002 and in 2004. She also represented Nigeria at the 2000 Olympic games, though the female national team returned home to Nigeria without a medal. In 2016, she was named interim coach of the national side, having previously been an assistant coach to the Nigeria women’s national under-20 football team. As a National team coach, Florence Omagbemi won the African Women’s Championship Medal on the 3rd of December 2016, defeating the host nation, Cameroon. This feat made Omagbemi to become the first woman to win the Africa Women Cup of Nations as both a player and coach. In addition to that, it led to her nomination for the prize of the Best FIFA Women’s Coach 2017.
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