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Paris Olympics: Waldrum picks Ajibade, Nnadozie, 16 others, team to camp in Spain

Paris Olympics: Waldrum picks Ajibade, Nnadozie, 16 others, team to camp in Spain

Head Coach Randy Waldrum has picked captain Rasheedat Ajibade, goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, defender Osinachi Ohale, forward Asisat Oshoala and 14 other players in his final list of Nigeria’s Super Falcons for this year’s Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in France.

There are also defenders Oluwatosin Demehin and Michelle Alozie, midfielders Deborah Abiodun, Halimatu Ayinde, Christy Ucheibe and Toni Payne, and forwards Esther Okoronkwo, Chinwendu Ihezuo and Uchenna Kanu.

Squad members who are currently on holidays in Nigeria will join home-based players and team officials aboard an Air France flight from Abuja to Sevilla, Spain on Thursday night, with the rest of the playing body and technical team also arriving in Sevilla on Friday for a two-week training camp.

The team is scheduled to depart Sevilla for France on Thursday, 18th July.

Nine-time African champions Nigeria, who are making their first appearance at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament for the first time since 2008 in China, will tackle Brazil, Spain and Japan, in that order, at this year’s tournament.

To qualify for the 12-team tournament, the Falcons edged South Africa’s Banyana Banyana 1-0, with a strike from the penalty spot in Abuja by Ajibade separating Africa’s top two teams over two legs in the month of April.

Their first game, against Brazil, comes up at the Stade Bordeaux on 25th July, before confrontations with Spain (28th July) and Japan (31st July). The matches against Spain and Japan will hold at the Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes, where the Super Eagles famously defeated tournament favourites Spain 3-2 in a memorable game at the 1998 FIFA World Cup finals.

SUPER FALCONS FOR PARIS 2024 OLYMPICS:

Goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC); Tochukwu Oluehi (Shualat Alsharqia FC, Saudi Arabia)

Defenders: Osinachi Ohale (Pachucha Club de Futbol, Mexico); Oluwatosin Demehin (Stade de Reims, France); Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash, USA); Nicole Payne (Portland Thorns FC, USA); Chidinma Okeke (Mynavi Sendai Ladies, Japan) 

Midfielders: Deborah Abiodun (University of Pittsburgh, USA); Halimatu Ayinde (FC Rosengard, Sweden); Christy Ucheibe (SL Benfica, Portugal); Jennifer Echegini (Juventus Ladies, Italy); Toni Payne (Sevilla FC, Spain) 

Forwards: Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid FC, Spain); Esther Okoronkwo (Changchun FC, China); Asisat Oshoala (Bay FC, USA); Uchenna Kanu (Racing Louisville, USA); Chiwendu Ihezuo (Pachucha Club de Futbol, Mexico); Chinonyerem Macleans (Locomotiv Moscow, Russia)

Alternate Players: Jumoke Alani (Nasarawa Amazons); Ifeoma Onumonu (Utah Royals, USA); Gift Monday (Coasta Adeje Tenerife Egatesa, Spain); Morufa Ademola (Rivers Angels)  

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