Falcons to play about 10 matches before 2019 Women’s World Cup – NFF
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Thursday said it has put in place plans to provide the Super Falcons with better preparations for the 8thFIFA Women’s World Cup finals.
Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Director of Communications, said in a statement that the federation had made plans for the African champions to participate in about 10 matches altogether.
“Participation in the Four-Nation Invitational Tournament in China from Jan. 17 to Jan. 20 will be followed by participation in the Cyprus Women’s Cup billed for Feb. 25 to March 7.
“They will then play planned friendly matches with Spain or Canada before a final training camp in Austria that could also take in two tune-up games,’’ he said.
Already, the NFF has announced that the Falcons would have their final camping programme at the same Avita Hotel and Resort in Bad Tatzmannsdorf in Austria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Super Eagles stayed at that same facility before heading to Russia to participate in the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals.
Olajire disclosed that players and officials of the nine-time African champions were on Tuesday at the Embassy of China in Abuja for visa processing.
“The team is expected to fly out of Nigeria to China on Monday,’’ he said.
Hosts China, Romania and Korea Republic are the other teams taking part in the four-day invitational.
The NFF official added that the players and officials would on return from the invitational tournament in China begin visa processing for the trip to Cyprus.
“They will take part in a 12-nation Invitational Tournament between Feb. 25 and March 7.
“Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Italy, North Korea, Mexico, Slovakia, South Africa and Thailand are the other nations taking part.
“Of the lot, Nigeria, Italy, South Africa and Thailand will be going to France,’’ he said.
Olajire disclosed also that Spain and Canada have approached Nigeria for friendly matches.
Spain will face South Africa, Germany and China in Group B at France 2019, while Canada will also take on African team Cameroon, New Zealand and The Netherlands in Group E.
“Jamaica, who play Australia, Italy and Brazil in Group C, have also written to the NFF expressing interest in playing against the Super Falcons,’’ he added.
Nigeria are the only African country to have featured in all previous editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup since the competition was launched in China in 1991.
The African champions, who are the Women National Team of Year 2018 in Africa, will tackle host nation France, Korea Republic and Norway in Group A of this summer’s finals.
The Super Falcons, who were quarter-finalists in 1999, will open their account in France against Norway, at the 21,000-capacity Stade Auguste Delaune in Reims on June 8.
They will then face Korea Republic in Grenoble on June 12 and hosts France in Rennes on June 17.
The 8th FIFA Women’s World Cup finals will hold from June 7 to July 7.
France will be up against Korea Republic in the opening match at the Parc des Princes in Paris on June 7.