Super Falcons Chase Tough World Cup Glory Amid Issues

July 18, 2023
Randy Waldrum Super Falcons

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Super Falcons of Nigeria are prepared for another outing, looking to win the coveted trophy in one of their toughest tests yet at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand 2023, when the tournament starts on Thursday, July 20.

Nigeria will face Canada, co-hosts Australia and newcomers Republic of Ireland in Group B of the ninth edition of the tournament, which dates back to 1991.

Super Falcons legend and captain, Onome Ebi, who has featured at every global final since 2003, will travel to her sixth tournament in July – a feat only achieved by Brazil’s Formiga (seven tournaments), Marta (six tournaments) and Japan legend Homare Sawa (six tournaments)

Nigeria coach Randy Waldrum has named his 23-player squad and will looking to count on 13 fresh legs to join 10 of the players who helped the Super Falcons reach the knockout phase at France 2019, including Uchenna Kanu and Desire Oparanozie.

Five-time African Women’s Footballer of the Year and UEFA Women’s Champions League winner, Asisat Oshoala, responsible for the only goal scored by a Nigerian player four years ago, will also return to the world stage.

However, veterans Rita Chikwelu or Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene, appear to have hung their boots.


Nigeria’s Group B fixtures

July 21

Nigeria-Canada (12:30 local time, Melbourne Rectangular Stadium)

July 27

Australia-Nigeria (20:00 local time, Brisbane Stadium)

July 31

Republic of Ireland-Nigeria (20:00 local time, Brisbane Stadium)



Yetunde Balogun

Chiamaka Nnadozie

Tochukwu Oluehi


Tosin Demehin

Onome Ebi

Rofiat Imuran

Osinachi Ohale

Glory Ogbonna

Ashleigh Plumptre


Deborah Abiodun

Halimatu Ayinde

Jennifer Echegini

Christy Ucheibe


Rasheedat Ajibade

Michelle Alozie

Gift Monday

Esther Okoronkwo

Ifeoma Onumonu

Desire Oparanozie

Francisca Ordega

Asisat Oshoala

Toni Payne

Issues Arising from the Super Falcons Camp

Coach Waldrum, in a chat with On The Whistle podcast, challenged the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) and revealed that he was initially owed 14 months’ salary until a few weeks ago, which has since being halved after the NFF paid seven months.

He also exposed that FIFA had in October 2022 disbursed $960,000 to all the teams that qualified for the World Cup to prepare for the tournament, which had not gone into the preparations adequately.

The coach also mentioned a backlog of bonuses dating back to 2021 being owed to some players.

The NFF was also accused of saying that it will not pay the players’ bonuses because FIFA will do so through the $30,000 it earmarked for each player during the first round of the tournament.

On its part, the federation has denied the accusations and hinted that some of the money had been expended on the preparation for the tournament after it travelled to Japan, Mexico for a tournament as well as to Turkey to play some preparatory matches.

This has raised eyebrows from concerned fans of the game, which worry that this has become an established trend after players at the last tournament in France protested by refusing to leave their hotel in protest against the non-payment of bonuses by the NFF.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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