World Cup fallout: Norway’s Riise and Colombia’s Abadia step down from women’s roles

September 1 – Norway’s Hege Riise and Colombia’s Nelson Abadia will step down as managers after leading their countries at the recent Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

In a brief statement, the Federación Colombiana de Futbol (FCF) said: “The executive committee of the FCF thanks the manager and his technical assistant Mario Alberto Abadía, for their years at the service of the national team when important achievements were achieved such as: the silver medal in the 2014 Pan American Games, the gold medal in the 2019 Pan American Games, the runner-up in the 2022 Conmebol Copa América and the quarterfinals in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand.”

The FCF will appoint a successor in the near future.

Following an internal evaluation, the Norwegian Football Federation (NFF) and Riise agreed that she would step down from her role as national team manager, but she will retain a role within the federation to strengthen the women’s football department.

“We have been keen to use the opportunity to have thorough evaluations, not only of the World Cup and the national team in particular but also the NFF’s investment in elite football for women in general,” said NFF president Lise Klaveness.

“Through this evaluation work and in conversations with Hege Riise, we see that we have different views on the role of national team manager in the future.”

Norway and Colombia experienced contrasting campaigns at the World Cup. Once a powerhouse in the global game, the Norwegians laboured their way to the knockout phase after internal strife in the squad that was laid bare when Caroline Graham Hansen said after the second group game that she felt passed by. In the round of 16, they were eliminated 3-1 by Japan.

The South Americans enjoyed their best-ever World Cup, reaching the last eight, only the second Conmebol country to do so after Brazil. They thrived in group H defeating South Korea 2-0 and upsetting Germany 2-1 before they edged past the Reggae Girlz of Jamaica in the second round. However, they crashed out in the quarter-finals against European champions and eventual finalists England, but only had themselves to blame for conceding twice after defensive blunders.

Earlier this week, World Cup debutants Ireland parted ways with Vera Pauw, who had come under fire for her management style, and Brazil, who crashed out in the group stages of the tournament, dismissed Pia Sundhage.

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