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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Opening of FIFA Women’s World Cup set to shatter records

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The opening night (day time in Nigeria ans most parts of Africa and Europe) of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 on Thursday is set to break attendance records in both Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand for women’s football as the tournament continues to reach new milestones.

The opening match in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau between the Football Ferns and Norway is likely to surpass the host nation’s previous biggest crowd for an international football match (37,000), set when the All Whites played Peru in 2017. It is also expected to more than treble the largest crowd ever for the Football Ferns, which came in January this year when 12,721 fans turned out to see Jitka Klimková’s side challenge the USA.

Meanwhile, Australian fans will also beat their record crowd for a women’s football match, which was set only a few days ago when 50,629 fans attended the Matildas warm-up match against France in Melbourne/Naarm.

This record figure is expected to be substantially surpassed when Australia kicks off their campaign against the Republic of Ireland at the 75,784-seater Stadium Australia in Sydney/Wangal.

“It will be an epic opening night with over 100,000 fans attending a women’s football match at the first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup held in the southern hemisphere,” said Sarai Bareman, FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer.

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She continued: “It will set the tone for a FIFA Women’s World Cup that I expect to become a watershed moment in global women’s sports – not only from an attendance perspective, but way beyond that, when it comes to developing the game globally and celebrating female empowerment.”

The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015™ in Canada was attended by 1,353,506 spectators, but a few days out from the opening match the ticket sales for this year’s tournament have now surpassed that figure, with close to 1.4 million tickets now sold.

The spread of those tickets also affirms the increased global nature of women’s football, as fans residing in a staggering 182 different countries have purchased their tickets and are planning to head down under.

Aside from the two hosts, the top ten countries for ticket sales are the USA, England, Qatar, China PR, Germany, the Republic of Ireland, Canada and Nigeria. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia are not close to many of the countries competing in the tournament, but it is wonderful to see that people have decided to travel from every corner of the globe to be part of this celebration of women’s football,” added Bareman.

Whatever seat you have purchased, Bareman reminds all fans to download the official FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ mobile ticketing app from the Apple Store or Google Play Store to access their tickets.

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“It is important that fans get the app on their phone as the tickets cannot be printed or downloaded. You need to present the ticket on your mobile phone to enter the stadium, so make sure your phone is fully charged.

Like a player that prepares for a big match, we count on fans to get ready ahead of going to the stadium and familiarise themselves with the ticketing app, the transportation options, and the prohibited items list – besides supporting their team, this is another great way to contribute to the spectacle.”

Fans who may need assistance with the app or accessing their tickets are advised to look for the spectator services volunteers at the stadium. If a ticket holder has bought tickets for friends or family, those can be shared in advance, so they have it on their own mobile phones.

Many overseas visitors, as well as local fans, have also decided to enjoy the matches in style and have accessed the variety of hospitality options available, from a single corporate seat to a private suite.

In that case, tickets are sent to the spectators in PDF and must be printed at home.

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While tickets for some matches may be currently unavailable, fans should monitor FIFA.com/tickets for last-minute offers, as well as head to FIFA.com/hospitality for an enhanced experience.

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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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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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Dominican Republic 2024:Flamingos land in the Dominican Republic!

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Nigeria’s U17 girls, Flamingos, have secured their ticket to the 8th FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup finals to be staged in the Dominican Republic later this year, after a 2-0 defeat of their Liberian counterparts at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Friday.

Victory took the aggregate tally to 6-1 in favour of Nigeria, with extraordinary poacher Harmony Chidi setting a record of 13 goals in a qualifying series that will be difficult to equal in years to come. She had 11 goals before kick-off, but netted the two goals of the evening to take Nigeria’s total of the series to a whopping 25. Central African Republic fell by a dozen goals while Burkina Faso fell 1-7 on aggregate.

Her first came after only four minutes when she sped past the Liberian defence to toe-poke the ball beyond the flailing arms of goalkeeper Makula Konneh from a cross by Shakirat Moshood.

A goal feast was expected, but this did not happen, as Peace Effiong had a close call in the 17th and Moshood rocked the crossbar a minute after from 20 yards. Moshood also missed from close range with 10 minutes left of the first half.

In the 56th minute, Moshood blasted beyond the goalpost when faced with Konneh, but Harmony Chidi made sure of her brace seven minutes later when she lashed the ball beyond Konneh’s reach as Nigeria seized the ball from a defensive slip-up by the visitors.

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The 8th FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup finals will be staged in the cities of Santiago de los Caballeros and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, 16th October – 3rd November.

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