All eyes will be on Super Falcons as they feature in the seventh FIFA Women’s World Cup starting on June 8 in Canada.
The Falcons are the reigning African champions and the most successful women football team on the continent. The most recent win was at the African Women Championship in Namibia in 2014.
The Falcons have never missed any of the FIFA World Cup tournaments since inception in 1991. However, they have never made it to the semi-finals.
The team only succeeded in getting to the quarter-finals at the USA ’99 but crashed out at the group stages in other appearances.
The NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, has made a pledge of $400,000 if the women get to the finals.
This year the team is packed with young players who represented Nigeria at the
2014 FIFA U20 World Cup.
Some Nigerians are optimistic that the Edwin Okon-coached girls will make it out of the group stages. However, there are others who believe the team will not, based on shoddy preparations devoid of international friendly matches.
Some players like the Liverpool Ladies striker, Asisat Oshaola, would be expected to turn out exceptional performances.
Others are Desire Oparanozie, Courtney Dike of Portsmouth ladies, Francisca Ordega of Washington Spirit and a veteran, Perpetua Nkwocha, who will be making her fourth FIFA World Cup appearance.
The Falcons have been grouped with Sweden, Australia and the U.S. in Group D. They will play Sweden, number five in the FIFA world ranking, on June 8. This is Sweden’s seventh appearance at the World Cup. They are coached by Pia Sundhage .
The Falcons will play number 10 in FIFA world ranking, Australia, on June 12. This is Australia’s sixth World Cup appearance.
Nigeria will play the current number one team, USA, on June 16. The USA is making its seventh appearance and along with Brazil, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Norway and Sweden, is one of seven countries to appear in all seven editions of the tournament.
It is the only country to have reached semi-finals in all editions of the tournament. It won in 1991 and 1999.
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