Fans Kick Against Ebi’s Inclusion In Falcons Friendly
Some sections of fans have raised eyebrows over the inclusion of Onome Ebi in the Super Falcons squad for next month’s Revelation Cup tournament in Leon, Mexico City, insisting she is too old and inactive to play for the nine-time African champions, Tidesports source reports.
Last Thursday, head coach of the Falcons, Randy Waldrum, called up 23 players for the friendly tournament.
Top on the list of the players invited are captain Ebi, Barcelona forward Asisat Oshoala, goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie and Leicester City’s Ashleigh Plumptre, with Desire Oparanozie, who was unceremoniously kicked out as captain of the women’s national team after leading a bonus protest against officials at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, once again omitted from the squad.
The tournament, which serves as preparation for the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand this summer, has hosts Mexico, Nigeria, Costa Rica and Colombia in attendance.
Some fans expressed concerns as they questioned the addition of Ebi, who turns 40 before the World Cup.
So far this season, the defender has made just one appearance for her Spanish club Levante Las Planas, playing a total of seven minutes.
Her low turnout for Levante and her age has been a source of concern to fans, who queried her inclusion in the squad.
Reacting to the Nigeria Football Federation’s tweet on the invited players, a Twitter user Alex Ibeneme wrote, “Please we need good and young defenders and with all due respect Ebi should retire. What happened to Onyinyechi Zogg? She needs to be invited back to the national team, I’ve been following her and she is doing well.”
Moolah79 added, “What is Ebi doing on this list? She’s played just one match since AWCON and doesn’t even make it to the bench of her club plus she has just been kicked out by the club Levante Las Palmas. Waldrum doesn’t mean well for Nigeria.”
Vitalis Iwuchukwu, however, urged the central defender to retire and give way for younger players.
“Onome Ebi doesn’t retire? 39 years and counting. This is not fair to younger players. Even her club terminated her contract on a mutual basis. Waldrum can do better with the selections.”
“This coach is sinking Super Falcons. Onome Ebi at what age? What is going on in this country is unbelievable,” Asiru ABBAS wrote.
“Nigeria will be disgraced at the world cup. It’s never late to get a new coach. Look at the losses against South Africa, Zambia, Morocco, USA. How many of such are coming?”
Belinda Monday added, “It really baffles me that we still have Ebi on this list and some younger players overlooked. I don’t see us doing well at the World Cup if these are the players we want to parade.”
David Oku also tweeted, “Waldrum’s decision to drop Oparanozie, Efih and Monday Gift is ridiculous. Those players are in good form scoring goals. Waldrum needs to up his game & improve his scouting Cos at the moment it’s not the top stuff we’re so used to with the Super Falcons & it’s 6 Months to #FIFAWWC.”
At the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco last July, Waldrum’s team had a mix of the old guard and new blood, with Ebi (39), Tochukwu Oluehi (35), Rita Chikwelu (34), Osinachi Ohale (30) and Ordega (29) the veterans in the team.
The nine-time African champions, however, struggled against young South African, Moroccan and Zambian sides losing all three games against them, with many blaming the old players for the team’s underwhelming performance in Morocco.
Ebi was one of the players blamed for Falcons’ poor outing as the defender struggled against younger players and was easily outpaced.
Super Eagles Beat Guinea Bissau Tops Group A
The Super Eagles on Monday in Bissau beat hosts Guinea Bissau 1-0 to reclaim leadership of Group A in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.
Moses Simon’s penalty kick after 29 minutes gave the Nigerian senior men’s football team the needed win to move to nine points after four matches.
They have now upstaged from the apex position Guinea Bissau who toppled them on Friday in Abuja with a 1-0 win.
Guinea Bissau are with seven points from four matches and in second place, ahead of Sierra Leone who have five points from four matches.
The Tidesports source reports that Nigeria will next face the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in a Match Day 5 fixture.
2022 NPFL: Nasarawa United Unveils New Players
Nasarawa United Football Club, Lafia, has unveiled eight new players for the remainder of the 2022/23 league calendar
The newly acquired players comprise one goalkeeper, four defenders and three attackers.
A release signed by the Media Officer of the Club, Eche Amos and made available to Tidesports yesterday, said Goalkeeper, Mohammed Galadima and central defender, Victor Collins both returned to the club after spells at Wikki Tourists FC of Bauchi and Amanat Baghdad FC of Iraq, respectively.
Right full-backs, Samson Vandi Drambi and Nelson Abiam joined from 2nd division side, EFCC FC of Abuja, while Nelson Abiam joined from premier league side Wikki Tourists FC, Bauchi. Full-back, Aminu Yusuf joined from neighbouring Lobi Stars FC, Makurdi.
The trio of centre forwards, Kazeem Abdulrafiu, Isaac James Ogiri and Kolawole Daniel inked the contract papers from Ruqayya Football Academy of Kaduna, ABS FC of Ilorin, and Gombe United FC, Gombe, in that order.
The unveiling ceremony took place last Wednesday in Lafia.
Each of the players is expected to bring his wealth of experience to bear as the Solid Miners prepare to overturn their current position on the league standings.
In another development, Nasarawa United yesterday defeated border neighbours, Lobi Stars FC of Makurdi, in an explosive friendly game decided at the Sports Complex of Federal University, Lafia, to fine-tune both teams ahead of the resumption of the second phase of the 2022/23 Nigeria Premier Football League.
Corruption, Bane of Nigeria Football Dev – Peterside
If not for the high level of corruption in Nigeria football administration, the country would have produced lots of football stars, former Super Eagles goalkeeper Idah Peterside said.
According to him, the country has a bunch of good and talented players like Victor Osimhem, but because of corrupt administration, many young players were deprived to get national call up.
Idah made the assertion last Wednesday in an interview with sports journalists shortly after Rivers United FC defeated Rangers FC 1-0 in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt.
He revealed that he will come back to Nigeria with the view to promote and develop football, following the experiences gained outside the country.
“If I was elected as the President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) a lot of things would have changed in the football administration.
“ I have come back to Nigeria, Port Harcourt, my base with all the experiences I had gained around the world to see how one can be involved in the development of the game.
“ Football is my game, I have sacrificed a lot for the development of the game” Idah said.
He congratulates Osimhen for his impressive performances in the Italian League, adding that what he expected Osimhen to do was to win World best or Africa footballer of the year.
By: Kiadum Edookor
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