• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Nigeria vs South Africa: NFF urges Nigerians in Abuja to support Super Falcons

Falcons-training

The General Secretary of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Dr Mohammed Sanusi has urged Nigerians in Abuja and its environs to troop out in large numbers to the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Friday to support the Super Falcons in their 2024 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament African final qualifying, first leg game against South Africa.

Nine-time African champions Nigeria and reigning African champions South Africa will clash in a potentially explosive affair on Friday. The return leg is due for Pretoria’s Loftus Versfeld arena on Tuesday next week.

“The NFF is calling on Nigerians from all over the Federal Capital Territory and the neighbouring States, and indeed from all over Nigeria, to come out in their tens of thousands to cheer the Super Falcons to victory in the match against South Africa.

“This is a big match by all standards. We are appealing to our people to come en masse and support the Super Falcons. It is important for us to get a big win here to be in good stead before flying to South Africa. A handsome win here will bolster our ladies with the confidence and mentality to overcome in Pretoria,” Sanusi said.

Nigeria has not participated in the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament since 2008 when the Super Falcons lost all three matches in the group phase in China.

Captain Rasheedat Ajibade said on Wednesday that the objective of Africa’s leading women’s team, the Falcons, remains the same right from the beginning of the qualifiers.

“From the time we played Ethiopia, we have been committed to seeing these qualification series through. Our objective has always been to win a slot in the Olympics. Most of us are yet to play in the Olympics and it is a big issue with us. We want to be there in Paris.

“There are a couple of issues the Super Falcons have to sort out with Banyana Banyana. However, that is not the motivation this time. The motivation is qualifying for the Olympics.”

Nigeria emerged as Africa’s top team at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand eight months ago, unbeaten in regulation time before exiting at the Round of 16 courtesy of a penalty shootout defeat by England.

As at lunchtime on Wednesday, captain Ajibade and 20 other players were in the Super Falcons’ camp, and the team had a first training session at the MKO Abiola Stadium on Wednesday morning.

The Banyana Banyana delegation arrived in Nigeria on Sunday.

Super Falcon Players In Camp:

Goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie, Tochukwu Oluehi, Linda Jiwuaku

Defenders: Jumoke Alani, Osinachi Ohale, Chidinma Okeke, Shukurat Oladipo, Michelle Alozie, Nicole Payne

Midfielders: Rasheedat Ajibade, Toni Payne, Deborah Abiodun, Jennifer Echegini, Christy Ucheibe, Halimatu Ayinde

Forwards: Uchenna Kanu, Gift Monday, Omorinsola Babajide, Ifeoma Onumonu, Esther Okoronkwo, Chiwendu Ihezuo