By Victor Kanayo
Nigerian Head Coach Bankole Olowookere has selected up to 21 girls ahead of 2022 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup finals, slated for October 2022 in India.
The selected players include team captain Alvine Dah-Zossu, midfield jewel Taiwo Afolabi and top scorer Opeyemi Ajakaye.
There are also first-choice goalkeeper Faith Omilana, defenders Comfort Folorunsho, Blessing Sunday and Miracle Usani, midfielders Blessing Emmanuel and Chidera Okenwa, and forwards Omowunmi Bello and Yetunde Ayantosho.
Players and officials are scheduled to depart the shores of Nigeria on Monday September 26 for a 10-day training camp in Turkey, before the delegation will jet off for India from Istanbul on October 6.
Matches of this year’s FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup will take place at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Pandit Jawarharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa and the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
Nigeria’s first match of the campaign is against Germany in Goa on Tuesday, October 11, starting at 8pm India time (4pm Nigeria time). The Flamingos will then square up to New Zealand on Friday, October 14 also in Goa, before flying to Bhubaneswar to take on Chile on Monday, October 17. Nigeria is in group B.
Since the competition was launched in New Zealand 14 years ago, Nigeria has only once been absent at the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup – the 2018 finals staged in Uruguay.
Talking about other pairings of the entire participating teams, in group A, host India will battle USA, Morocco, Brazil.
Spain, Colombia, Mexico and China will trade tackle in group C.
In group D, Japan, Tanzania, Canada and France will tango.