Desire Oparanozie Fumes Over Non-inclusion in Super Falcons’ Team

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Desire Oparanozie Fumes Over Non-inclusion in Super Falcons' Team
Chinedu Ibeakanma
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Former Super Falcons captain, Desire Oparanozie, has lashed out at the Nigeria Football Federation following her exclusion from the list of players for the Turkish Women’s Cup, which begins on Monday.

The NFF last Thursday released a 23-man list for the tournament, with some stakeholders questioning the inclusion of Onome Ebi, who turns 38 in May and has not tasted competitive football action, alongside Francisca Ordega and Chinwendu Ihezuo, the trio all without clubs.

Following the outbreak of COVID-19, Henan Jianye striker Ihezuo was unable to return to China to compete in the 2020 Chinese Women’s Super League season despite being under contract for a second season. Both Ihezuo and Ebi, who was also at Jianye before the expiration of her contract, missed the entire campaign due to the closure of air travels out of Nigeria.

Ordega, who last played for Shanghai WFC, was part of the club’s set up during a preseason tour in Portugal, where they trained before lockdown in March 2020, and has been unable to return to China.

Oparanozie has been in fine form for French topflight side Dijon and her exclusion raised eyebrows, with critics insisting she was sidelined following her part in protests against unpaid bonuses at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, and not for football reasons.

But NFF’s Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire, in a recent interview, said Oparanozie’s exclusion had nothing to do with the role she played in the protest in France.

“Oparanozie is still part of the team’s plans, and her non-inclusion has nothing to do with that protest in France because she was not the only one involved,” Olajire told BBC.

“Selection of players is predominantly the prerogative of the coaches and not the NFF.

“She remains an important member of the women’s national side. I think she will just have to keep working on her game and, if she gets the opportunity, then push for consistent selection.”

Reacting to the statement on her Twitter handle on Saturday, Oparanozie said, “Work on my game and push for consistent selection. Those ones who’s been without a club for over a year now, how many of their games did they work on over the past one year to merit their inclusion? When we’re spoilt

for choice. Look for another lie.”

 

This post was written by Chinedu Ibeakanma.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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