Faith Ikidi-Michael Knocked Out Of France 2019

REIMS, FRANCE - JUNE 08: Faith Michael of Nigeria is stretchered off the pitch with an injury during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France group A match between Norway and Nigeria at Stade Auguste Delaune on June 08, 2019 in Reims, France. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Sweden-based female defender, Faith Michael (formerly Ikidi) has been ruled out from further action at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, following an injury she copped in action with Nigeria’s squad, Super Falcons during their opening 3-0 loss to Norway.

Less than 24 hours to Nigeria’s second match of the competition, against South Korea on Wednesday, the 32-year-old veteran, who plays for Pitea IF of Sweden, was declared no longer able to feature at France 2019, after she was carried off on a stretcher on Saturday, following a collision with Falcons’ goalkeeper, Tochukwu Oluehi during the loss to Norway.

The three-time winner of African Women’s Cup of Nations, Michael is one of the most experienced players in Nigeria’s squad, having been in Scandinavia since 2004 and helped Pitea to the 2018 league title.

Michael began her professional career at Bayelsa Queens of Yenagoa in 2001 and, after three seasons with the south-south outfit, she switched to Klepp IL of Norway, then made her Falcons debut in 2004.

She was named Swedish Damallsvenskan defender of the year in 2015, but the Falcons had to into their must-win game against South Korea on Wednesday without Ikidi.

A statement from the information department of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) disclosed: “Head coach Thomas Dennerby and team medics on Tuesday ruled veteran defender Faith Michael out.

“She will take no further part in the championship, no matter how far the African champions get.

“In Michael’s absence, petite Chidinma Okeke, a former junior international who featured for Nigeria at the Fifa U20 Women’s World Cup also staged in France last year summer, will start at right back.”

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