Oparanozie And Ihezuo Dropped From Falcons Squad Over WAFCON 2022
China-based players Desire Oparanoize and Chinwendu Ihezuo have been dropped from the Super Falcons ahead of next month’s Women Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco, The PUNCH reports.
This was revealed in a tweet on the official handle of the Super Falcons.
Oparanoize who was one of the nine forwards called up by Randy Waldrum for the 2022 WAFCON in Morocco was replaced in the squad by the Anam Imo while Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene was drafted in for Chinwendu Ihezuo.
“Just In: Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene has been called up to replace Chinwendu Ihezuo and Anam Imo will replace Desire Oparanozie,” the tweet revealed.
Meanwhile, Super Falcons’ captain, Onome Ebi has declared that the nine-time African champions are fully focused on the twin objectives of winning a ticket to the 2023 Women’s World Cup finals and retaining their Women Africa Cup of Nations title in Morocco next month.
“We are aware of the intense competition that is going to play out there in Morocco. We have no illusions. Women’s football has continued to grow in a lot of other African nations, faster than anyone can imagine. So, there will be nothing like under-rating any team. All the teams will be upbeat about their chances and winning tickets to the World Cup.
“On our part, as defending champions, we know our strengths. We know what we have to bring to the pitch to conquer. The wise thing always is to take it one match at a time. We go up first against the Banyana, and then we have to face the challenges of Botswana and Burundi then the next stage. World Cup ticket is paramount, but we also want to retain our trophy.”
The Falcons who began their preparation in Abuja on Friday have won nine of the 11 WAFCON finals held so far.
They will take on South Africa, Botswana and Burundi in the group stages in Morocco.
The Cup-holders go up against the Banyana Banyana in their first match at the Prince Heritier Moulay Hassan Stadium in Rabat on July 4 before their fixtures against Botswana on July 7 and Burundi on July 10 at the same venue.
Nigeria have won nine of the 11 championships contested so far, done every other year since 1998, save for the 2020 edition that was obliterated by the coronavirus pandemic.