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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Super Falcons opening opponents, Canada enlist veteran Sinclair in 23-player World Cup squad

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 Women's World Cup - Group E - Canada v Cameroon - Stade de La Mosson, Montpellier, France - June 10, 2019 Canada's Christine Sinclair in action REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier/File Photo

Christine Sinclair will travel to her sixth Women’s World Cup as she leads a 23-player Canadian squad named on Sunday that is hungry to build on their breakthrough Olympic gold.

Three-times Canadian Player of the Year Kadeisha Buchanan and her Chelsea team mate Jessie Fleming, who was named Canada’s top player in 2021 and 2022, are among the veterans named along with midfielder Sophie Schmidt in her fifth World Cup.

The tournament kicks off on July 20 in Australia and New Zealand.

“It’s a great mix of veterans, experienced and new players who can all bring something different this summer,” coach Bev Priestman said in a statement.

The 40-year-old Sinclair, who holds the international goal-scoring record (190), is already a Canadian soccer great with 323 international appearances. She hopes to become the first player to score in six different World Cups.

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“She’s humble on the top and then below is this competitive high performer,” Priestman told reporters.

“I’m 37 and I’m thinking, ‘She’s three years older than me and she’s putting this out.’ And we did fitness testing, she’s come out brilliantly in that area. I’m in awe as many Canadians are as to what Christine is doing.”

Sinclair will be backed up by six newcomers including 18-year-old Olivia Smith, who has made just two appearances for the senior team.

“(Smith is) young but she’s got some great experience in our youth system,” said Priestman. “I think she’s come in and to be honest she’s been absolutely outstanding. I can tell the players are blown away with her impact coming in.”

The average age of the squad is 27, Canadian Soccer said.

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Canada are ranked seventh in the world and left Tokyo with gold medals around their necks two years ago but their run up to the tournament has been far from smooth with key players, including forward Janine Beckie, sidelined due to injury.

Sweden eliminated Canada in the last 16 in France four years ago.

One notable omission from the list was midfielder Desiree Scott, a veteran of the 2011, 2015 and 2019 World Cups, who acknowledged on Sunday that her injury rehabilitation was not at the place it needed to be for her to play her best.

“I’m naturally devastated for the players who have missed out, especially due to injuries, but I know every player will be with us on our journey and have been pivotal in getting us to this point,” said Priestman.

The players have also been locked in a pay dispute with their federation.

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Priestman said the dispute had not created distractions in her camp and expected the negotiations would be wrapped up by the first game of the World Cup.

“I know they’re in their final stages of getting things across the line,” she added. “There’s been every effort on both parties.”

Canada kick off their World Cup against Nigeria on July 21 in Group B.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Kailen Sheridan, Sabrina D’Angelo, Lysianne Proulx

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Defenders: Kadeisha Buchanan, Vanessa Gilles, Shelina Zadorsky, Allysha Chapman, Ashley Lawrence, Jayde Riviere, Gabrielle Carle

Midfielders: Quinn, Simi Awujo, Jessie Fleming, Julia Gross, Sophie Schmidt

Forwards: Jordyn Huitema, Cloe Lacasse, Adriana Leon, Christine Sinclair, Nichelle Prince, Deanne Rose, Evelyne Viens, Olivia Smith

 

-Reuters

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

CAF Women’s Champions League Qualifiers draw holds on Wednesday

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The 2024-2025 women’s interclub football season will officially kick off on Wednesday, 24 July, with the draw for the CAF Women’s Champions League qualifiers in 4 zones: UNAF, UNIFFAC, WAFU B and CECAFA.

The draw will be conducted at 10:00 GMTat the CAF Headquarters in Egypt and live-streamed on CAF TV and CAFOnline.com. 

Below are the teams entered by zone and the dates of the qualifying tournaments:

WAFU B (10 – 23 August): Ainonvi FC (Benin), Hasaacas Ladies (Ghana), Inter d’Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), AO Étincelles OU USFA (Burkina Faso), AS Garde Nationale (Niger), Edo Queens (Nigeria), ASKO de Kara (Togo).

UNAF (21 – 31 August): CF Akbou (Algeria), Tutankhamun (Egypt), AS Far (Morocco), ASF Sousse (Tunisia)

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CECAFA (17 August – 4 September): PVP Buyenzi (Burundi), FAD (Djibouti), CBE FC (Ethiopia), Kenya Police Bullets (Kenya), Kawempe Muslim (Uganda), Rayon Sports (Rwanda), Yei Joint Stars (South Sudan), Simba Queens (Tanzania), Warriors Queens (Zanzibar)

UNIFFAC (16 – 24 August): Lekié FF (Cameroon), TP Mazembe (DR Congo), Atlético de Malabo (Equatorial Guinea), CSM Diables Noirs (Congo)

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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Colombia 2024: Danjuma invites 32 as countdown begins to Final Tournament

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Flying Eagles, Falconets To Resume Camp On Thursday -

With just eight weeks to their first match of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Colombia 2024, Head Coach Chris Musa Danjuma has called up four goalkeepers, eight defenders, eight midfielders and 12 strikers to a training camp in the Federal Capital, Abuja in the first phase of preparation for the global tournament.

Team captain Oluchi Ohaegbulem is top of the list, with first-choice goalkeeper Faith Omilana, defenders Shukurat Oladipo and Comfort Folorunsho, midfielders Chinyere Kalu, Adoo Yina and Rofiat Imuran, and forwards Janet Akekoromowei, Flourish Sabastine and Aminat Bello also called.

Nigeria, a fixture at the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup finals since the tournament began as an U19 event in Canada 22 years ago, will contend with three-time winners Germany, Asian powerhouse Korea Republic and South American representatives Venezuela in group D of the competition scheduled for three Colombian cities, 31st August – 22nd September.

All the invited are expected at Serob Legacy Hotel, Wuye, Abuja on Sunday, 7th July.

ALL THE INVITED PLAYERS:

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Goalkeepers: Anderline Mgbechi (Delta Queens); Rachael Unachukwu (Nasarawa Amazons); Faith Omilana (Naija Ratels); Shukura Bakare (Nasarawa Amazons)

Defenders: Oluchi Ohaegbulem (Nasarawa Amazons); Jumoke Alani (Nasarawa Amazons); Shukurat Oladipo (FC Robo Queens); Oluwabunmi Oladeji (Naija Ratels); Folashade Adegbemile (Delta Queens); Chidera Okenwa (Delta Queens); Comfort Folorunsho (Edo Queens); Taiwo Lawal

Midfielders: Adoo Yina (Nasarawa Amazons); Olushola Shobowale (Nasarawa Amazons); Aminat Folorunsho (Rivers Angels); Chioma Olise (Edo Queens); Chinyere Kalu (Nasarawa Amazons); Joy Igbokwe (Naija Ratels); Rofiat Imuran (Stade de Reims, France); Zikora Agama (Naija Ratels)

Forwards: Delight Nwosu (Dannaz Ladies); Adaobi Okah (Remo Stars Ladies); Chiamaka Okwuchukwu (Rivers Angels); Chinaza Agoh (Delta Queens); Mary Nkpa (Heartland Queens); Chiamaka Osigwe (Edo Queens); Janet Akekoromowei (Asisat Academy); Mary Offor (Adamawa Queens); Flourish Sabastine (Stade de Reims, France); Sharon Ulumma (Heartland Queens); Aminat Bello (Otero College, USA); Reilly Adebowale (Bohemian FC, Republic of Ireland)   

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Nigeria’s Flamingos drawn against debuting hosts in FIFA U-17 World Cup

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The Flamingos, Nigeria’s U-17 women’s football team have been drawn against hosts, Dominican Republic for the finals of the Women’s U-17 World Cup holding from 16 October to 3 November in two host cities of Santo Domingo  and Santiago de los Caballeros.

 Both Nigeria and Dominican Republic are drawn in Group A along with Ecuador and New Zealand.  In Group B are Spain, USA, Korea Republic and Colombia.

Group C has  Korea DPR, Mexico, Kenya and England while those competing in Group D are  Japan , Poland, Brazil and Zambia.

The hosts will make their debut in the competition on 16 October against Ecuador in Santiago de los Caballeros, with New Zealand and Nigeria completing Group A.

Herrera, the first Dominican woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, had a special message for her compatriots taking part in the World Cup. She said: “I am the living example that you can achieve your dreams. So, keep up the good work. I am looking forward to seeing those amazing games.”

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Reigning champions Spain, meanwhile, will kick off their campaign in Group B, in which they will face USA, Korea Republic and Colombia, runners-up last time around.

“The advice to all the players that will participate here is to be confident and go live your dream. ¡Y Buena suerte!” said Flores, who took part in this tournament two years ago in India.

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