Reigning African champions Nigeria will land in Antalya on Monday to participate in the fifth edition of the Turkish Women’s Cup taking place between 15thand 24th February.
It is the first run-out for the Super Falcons, who reached the Round of 16 at the 8th FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in France in the summer of 2019, since being shockingly edged out of the race for the Tokyo Olympics by Cote d’Ivoire penultimate autumn.
It is also the first call of new Head Coach, American Randy Waldrum, with the squad he is expected to mould into credible competitors for honours at global level.
Nigeria’s Head Coach Waldrum has invited 23 players, mostly from the group that reached the Round of 16 at the World Cup in France, including goalkeepers Tochukwu Oluehi and Chiamaka Nnadozie, defenders Onome Ebi and Chidinma Okeke, midfielders Rita Chikwelu, Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene and Halimatu Ayinde, and forwards Gift Monday, Rasheedat Ajibade and Asisat Oshoala.
Surprisingly missing from the line up is Desire Oparanozie.
Oparanozie’s relationship with the NFF leadership had gone sour since the 2019 Women’s World Cup, where the team staged a sit-in protest in Grenoble after a 3-0 Round of 16 loss to Germany.
23 FALCONS FOR ALANYA GOLD CITY CUP
Goalkeepers: Tochukwu Oluehi (C.D. Pozoalbense, Spain); Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC, France); Christy Ohiaeriaku (Edo Queens)
Defenders: Onome Ebi; Glory Ogbonna (Edo Queens); Osinachi Ohale (Madrid CFF, Spain); Mariam Ibrahim (Nasarawa Amazons); Chidinma Okeke (Madrid CFF, Spain); Habeebat Akinwande (FC Robo)
Midfielders: Rita Chikwelu (Madrid CFF, Spain); Esther Sunday (ALG SPOR, Turkey); Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene (Eskilstuna, Sweden); Antoinette Payne (Sevilla FC, Spain); Halimatu Ayinde (Eskilstuna, Sweden); Christy Ucheibe (SL Benfica, Portugal); Patricia George (Sands FC, Germany)
Forwards: Asisat Oshoala (FC Barcelona, Spain); Uchenna Kanu (Linkopings, Sweden); Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid, Spain); Francisca Ordega; Chinwendu Ihezuo; Gift Monday (FC Robo); Charity Adule (SD Eibar, Spain)