Nigeria’s female national team, Super Falcons will fly out of Abuja to Algeria this Sunday, August 25th, as they go to keep a date with the North African country in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifiers.
Both teams are scheduled to do battle in the coastal city of in Blida, few kilometres outside the capital, Algiers, starting 7pm on Wednesday, 28th August.
Ahead of the fixture, world football body, FIFA has already appointed officials from Mali to take charge of the qualifying match, which Algeria Football Federation has scheduled to hold at Stade Mustapha Tchaker.
Female Malian referee, Teneba Bagayoko will be at the centre, with her compatriots Mariam Coulibaly as assistant 1 and Djeneba Dembélé to be assistant 2, while the fourth official is Dorsaf Ganouati of Tunisia, Mana Dzodope from Togo as referee assessor and Oumou Kane of Mauritania the match commissioner.
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have picked Agege Stadium, Lagos for the second leg on Tuesday, 3rd September, starting 4pm, for which FIFA have appointed Zomadre Kore from Cote d’Ivoire as the centre referee.
She will be jojned by her compatriots Lou Ta (assistant 1), Denise Akoua (assistant 2) and Fatoumata Kra (fourth official), while referee assessor is Ghana’s Emmanuella Aglago and Cameroon’s Souadatou Kalkaba will be the match commissioner.
Ahead of both matches, Falcons’ coach, Thomas Dennerby has 30 home-based players at his camp in Abuja, with the squad going through their various training sessions since reporting a week ago.
Among the 30 players invited to the camp in Abuja are four goalkeepers: Jonathan Alaba (Bayelsa Queens); Christy Ohiaeriaku (Delta Queens); Tochukwu Oluehi (Rivers Angels); and Chiamaka Nnadozie (Rivers Angels), the last of who is currently with the under-20 squad, Falconets that left Lagos on Thursday for this year’s Africa Games.
The defenders are Glory Ogbonna (Ibom Angels); Chidinma Okeke (FC Robo); Abidemi Ibe (Bayelsa Queens); Joy Duru (Nasarawa Amazons; Ugochi Emenayo (Nasarawa Amazons); Margaret Etim (Rivers Angels); Maryam Ibrahim (Nasarawa Amazons); and Maureen Okpala (Confluence Queens).
All midfielders on the list are Peace Efih (Rivers Angels); Osarenoma Igbinovia (Bayelsa Queens); Cecilia Nku (Rivers Angels); Adebisi Saheed (Bayelsa Queens); Cynthia Aku (Rivers Angels); Amarachi Okoronkwo (Nasarawa Amazons); Celine Ottah (Bayelsa Queens) and Regina Otu (Pelican Stars).
They are joined by ten forward: Adejoke Ejalonibu (Nasarawa Amazons); Rafiat Sule (Rivers Angels); Joy Bokiri (Bayelsa Queens); Alice Ogebe (Rivers Angels); Nneka Julius (Edo Queens); Joy Jerry (Bayelsa Queens; Tessy Biahwo (Bayelsa Queens); Lola Phillip (Nasarawa Amazons); Rofiat Imuran (Sunshine Queens) and Mary-Magdalene Anjor (Bayelsa Queens).
Six overseas-based professionals are expected to join the team in Abuja before they fly out to Algeria on Sunday, 25th August, as they aim to see Nigeria return to the Olympic Games’ women football event, after missing out of London 2012 in England and Rio 2016 in Brazil.
In fact, despite qualifying for every edition of the FIFA Womne’s World Cup, Nigeria has not participated in the Women’s Football Tournament of the Olympics since starring at Beijing 2008 in China.