Ahead of Super Falcons’ 2024 Summer Olympics second round, second leg qualifier against Ethiopia, the General Secretary of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Dr Mohammed Sanusi, has urged the nine-time African champions to work as a team and bring their A-game to the pitch.
The match comes up on Tuesday at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
Sanusi spoke after watching the Super Falcons train at the Turf Arena in the Federal Capital in Abuja and also reminded players and officials that Nigeria has been absent from the past three women’s Olympic football tournaments and this certainly does not credit the country’s rating as a leading global power in women’s football.
“The whole world still talks about how you captivated everyone at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand during the summer,” the NFF General Secretary said in a statement on Sunday.
“The Government of Nigeria, the NFF and all stakeholders remain very proud of you. The NFF loves you and is happy with your outing and general conduct at the World Cup, on and off the field of play.
“Now, it is time to destroy this vexed issue of Olympics jinx. The last time you attended the Olympics was in 2008, in China. That was a long time ago. Missing three consecutive tournaments is enough; we have to take our place in Paris. I am happy with your game in Addis Ababa and I know you have the capacity to finish off the job here in Abuja on Tuesday.”
The Super Falcons trained at the Turf Arena on Friday and Saturday before moving to the MKO Abiola National Stadium on Sunday.
Falcons captain Rasheedat Ajibade’s equaliser in the first leg last earned a vital draw for Nigeria after the home side scored in the sixth minute.
Ajibade, Toni Payne, Gift Monday, goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, Omorinsola Babajide, Esther Onyenezide, Oluwatosin Demehin, Peace Efih, and Michelle Alozie all looked very sharp in training, though Alozie was sometimes given time off to recover from the slight disorientation caused by a late knock to the face during the first leg.
The winner over two legs will take on the winner of the Cameroon vs Uganda fixture in the third round of the series. Uganda, who eliminated Rwanda in the first round also defeated Cameroon 2-0 in Kampala on Thursday.