The Ethiopian women’s National Football team arrived in Abuja on Sunday, ahead of their crucial Olympic qualifier against Nigeria’s Super Falcons.
Both countries played a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Addis Ababa last week and will meet again on Tuesday, in Abuja to determine who advances to the next round of Olympic qualifying matches.
The 35-member Ethiopian squad, nicknamed Lucy, flew into Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in an Ethiopian Airlines flight.
Match officials have also arrived in preparation for Tuesday’s important contest. The referees are led by Commissioner Christine Ziga of Ghana and include centre referee Edoh Kindedji of Togo.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Super Falcons have been intensifying their training ahead of Tuesday’s match. They recognise that victory would aid their quest to return to the Olympics after missing the last three tournaments. They have been training for the past several days at the MKO Abiola National Stadium.
According to the Nigeria Football Federation Secretary General, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, the NFF remains proud of the Super Falcons’ performance at the 2022 FIFA Women’s World Cup but emphasised it is time to overcome Nigeria’s Olympic absence.
“I know you have the capacity to finish off the job here in Abuja on Tuesday,” he said.
Nigeria has not qualified for the Olympics since 2008. Dr Sanusi stated that missing three straight Olympics has damaged Nigeria’s reputation as a global power in women’s football but he was confident that the Super Falcons have the capacity to finish the job and qualify for Paris 2024.
Editor Paul Akhagbemhe