Nigeria’s female national team, Super Falcons coach, Thomas Dennerby has one worry less to think about heading into this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, as one of his group opponents, Norway, will not be at the competition with their star player.
One worry less for Dennerby comes after Norway’s coach, Martin Sjogren disclosed that maiden women’s Ballon d’Or winner, Ada Hegerberg will not play at France 2019.
Nigeria are with hosts France, South Korea and Norway in Group A for the eighth edition of the Women’s World Cup, from 7th June to 7th July, but 23-year-old Hegerberg will not be there to tango the Falcons, after taking a stand against lack of respect for female players in Norway.
The Lyon of France striker has since declined to play for Norway since they were knocked out of the Women’s European Championship in 2017 without scoring a goal.
It means the Falcons will not have to contend with fiery runs and eye for goal from the three-time Champions League winner, who became the inaugural winner of the Women’s Ballon d’Or in December 2018.
It also leaves Norway without one of their key players for the World Cup, which will hold in France from 7 June to 7 July, but their coach, who is also from Sweden, like Dennerby, says he must adjust without her.
Sjogren added: “I don’t think much about it because we have to put all of our focus on the players who want to be here.
“As a coach, you need to focus on the players who want to be a part of the team and Ada doesn’t.
“We respect that and we have been working hard with the other players and they have been doing a great job.
“She is a big profile in the game and Ada of course would be a great add to our squad if she wants to be a part of it.
“We won’t get that phone call because she has declared she is not going to play the World Cup.”