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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Nigeria pay gripes remain but players focused on World Cup says Waldrum

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Women's World Cup - Round of 16 - Germany v Nigeria - Stade des Alpes, Grenoble, France - June 22, 2019 Nigeria players during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Emmanuel Foudrot/File Photo

Nigeria head into the Women’s World Cup with pay disputes still festering but players have set aside their grievances to focus on their opener against Canada on Friday, coach Randy Waldrum said.

The ‘Super Falcons’ have won their last three friendlies against New Zealand, Haiti and Costa Rica but off the pitch they have been at loggerheads with the Nigerian football association over pay and conditions.

In a podcast earlier this month, American Waldrum said he was owed seven months’ wages and some of his players had not been paid in two years.

Nigerian media reported the team were considering boycotting matches at the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand but Waldrum said none of his players were opting out of selection for Canada in Melbourne on Friday.

“We’ll be there. All of that transpired before we came and I think the team, once we all arrived here, have just focused on Canada,” the American told Reuters after training on Wednesday.

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“We met about it the first night we arrived and at that point we all just agreed not to continue to discuss it, not let it be out there and that we’re here to do a job.

“Let’s focus on that job and let the appropriate people handle it.”

Waldrum declined to provide details on his players’ complaints but was not confident they would be resolved by the end of the July 20-Aug. 20 tournament.

“I really don’t know. Coming from the U.S. and working with the federation, I found very quickly things happen at a very different pace than what you may be used to or what we may be used to in our culture,” he said.

The Nigeria Football Federation did not provide immediate comment.

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Texan Waldrum, a former coach of U.S. team Houston Dash, praised his players for keeping their minds on the job as they look to reach the knockout rounds from one of the toughest groups, which includes hosts Australia and debutants Ireland.

“I’ve been pleased about it because this very easily could be weighing and be a burden on the team, but I haven’t seen that they’ve allowed that to happen,” he added.

“They’ve handled everything very professionally.

“I don’t think you’ll get any of the players commenting at all during the tournament about it.”

Pay complaints have overshadowed the leadup to the World Cup, with Olympic champions Canada and Euro 2022 holders England among a raft of teams wanting more from their federations.

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Other sides have lamented a lack of resources to adequately prepare, including Jamaica, whose players resorted to crowdfunding to help cover costs.

Waldrum said Nigeria, 11-times Women’s Africa Cup of Nations champions, had the means to make the World Cup’s knockout phase but home fans’ expectations that they should be at the top of women’s football were unrealistic.

“At some point there has got to become a realisation about all the things we do day-to-day with how the federation treats the players and how they provide resources for proper training, travel and all those issues,” he said.

“It doesn’t mean that Nigeria or any of the African nations at this World cup can’t achieve a lot and make a deep run.

“But if you want to be a top team year-in, year-out, you’ve obviously got to be willing to provide more resources.”

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-Reuters

 

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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