The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has lined up two top notch friendly games against Canada and New Zealand for the country’s senior women national team, to aid the team’s preparations for the 2015 FIFA Womens World Cup in Canada.
Chairperson of the Nigeria Women League, Dilichukwu Onyedinma also hinted that the Super Falcons will begin preparations for their qualifiers for the 2015 All African Games, 2016 Olympics and World Cup in Abuja next week.
Onyedinma, who is also an executive member of NFF said the nation’s football body lately readjusted its plans for Super Falcons following the shift in country’s general elections by six weeks to March 28.
“The NFF has been able to arrange two grade A friendly matches for Super Falcons to tune up for the World Cup. These games, which we hope will be good test for our girls, will be against world cup host Canada and New Zealand,” Onyedinma noted.
“It was our original plan to open the camp after the February 14 election that has now been postponed so the federation quickly re-adjusted the Falcons program to start next week,” she concluded.
Similarly, Dr Sanusi Mohammed, who is currently in Niamey with the country’s Under 17 male national team for their Niger 2015 African Under 17 Championship campaign, confirmed the arranged grade A tune-up games for the Super Falcons.
“The two friendly matches have been secured for the team, but it’s not now, but later close to the World Cup,” Mohammed said
The Super Falcons will face the winner of the tie between Mali and Gabon in the All African Games qualifiers. The first leg will be an away tie in the weekend of March 20 – 22, 2015 with Nigeria hosting the second leg between April 10 – 12, 2015.
For the Olympic qualifier, Nigeria will tackle Mali with the first leg match to be played at home on May 23 while the second leg holds a week later in Bamako.
Edwin Okon’s ladies have been paired with former champions USA, Sweden and Australia in widely touted Group of Death – D at the upcoming international showpiece in Canada which holds from June 5 to July 6.
In a related development, Malian Football Federation has accepted a proposal by the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) for a qualifying fixture of the Women’s Football Tournament of 2016 Olympic Games to be moved forward.
A statement by Ademola Olajire, NFA’s Assistant Director (Communications), said the Super Falcons were scheduled to host the Malians on May 23 with the return leg in Nigeria on May 30.
The fixture between both countries’ senior women teams is in the second round of qualifiers for the Women’s Football Tournament at Rio, Brazil.
“We had to write to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the Malian Federation to consider bringing the matches forward by two weeks in order for our team to be able to head to Canada by May 19.
“Our team will be going for the final training camp for the 7th FIFA Women’s World Cup finals,” the statement quoted NFA’s General Secretary Musa Amadu as saying on Friday.
CAF had given NFA the go-ahead to contact the Malian Federation for both National Associations to agree between themselves.
In its reply, dated Feb. 13, General Secretary Yacouba Traore said the Mali Football Federation had agreed in principle.
This means that the first leg match will now take place in Nigeria on May 9, with the return leg in Bamako on May 16.