2024 Paris Olympics: Super Falcons’ Camp Bubbles With 12 Players

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Nigeria’s Super Falcons have commenced preparations for their first appearance at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament after 16 years of non-participation in the tournament.

Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Head of Communications, said the team resumed camping in Spain on Friday with 18 players expected but only 12 have arrived as at Monday morning.

He said their camp in the city of Jerez de la Frontera outside Sevilla has come alive with most of the invited players in camp.

According to him, the team’s administrator Mary Oboduku who was quoted in the statement, two or more players are being expected in the afternoon.

“We started training on Sunday and the team’s camp at Hotel Barceló Montecastillo Golf and Resort is calm.

The players are in very high spirits as they look forward to the tournament in France,” Oboduku said.

Team captain Rasheedat Ajibade and first-choice goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie are at the head of the squad already in camp, with goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi, defenders Chidinma Okeke and Nicole Payne.

Midfielders Christy Ucheibe, Toni Payne, Deborah Abiodun, Jennifer Echegini, and forward Esther Okoronkwo are also in camp alongside alternate players, goalkeeper Morufa Ademola and forward Gift Monday.

Defenders Osinachi Ohale and Michelle Alozie were being expected at the team’s hotel Monday afternoon.

The nine-time African champions, who last played at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in China in 2008, will take on reigning Olympic champions Canada in a training match in Sevilla on July 17.

Canada’s ladies defeated their counterparts from Sweden 3-2 after a penalty shootout, following a 1-1 draw in regulation and extra time, to clinch the gold medal in Tokyo in 2021.

In their last outing at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, the Falcons lost 0-1 to Korea Democratic People’s Republic, 0-1 to Germany and 1-3 to eventual silver medallists Brazil.

Women’s football debuted at the Olympic Games as a demonstration sport in 1996, but the Super Falcons made their entry in 2000 in Australia

They lost 1-3 each to China, eventual winners Norway and eventual silver medalists USA.

Perpetua Nkwocha scored the lone goal against China while Mercy Akide was the scorer against both Norway and USA.

Nigeria’s best outing – so far – at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament was in Athens 20 years ago, where the Super Falcons finished in 6th place after exiting the tournament in the quarter-finals.

Falcons are in Group C alongside Spain, Brazil and Japan in the tournament scheduled to begin on July 26 to Aug. 11. (NAN)

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