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Women's World Cup

Super Falcons need more quality games to prepare for World Cup, says Ngozi Okobi

09:49 GMT 03/01/2019
Nigeria Women, Super Falcons
Despite having lined up tournaments ahead of the Women's World Cup next summer, the midfielder is still appealing for more

Ngozi Okobi has demanded more top games be arranged for the Super Falcons ahead of 2019 Women's World Cup in France.

The African champions secured a record nine continental title at the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations in Ghana and are drawn against France, Norway and South Korea in Group A at the showpiece.

The Super Falcons will play in China Invitational, alongside hosts, Romania, South Korea between January 17-21 and will later take part in Cyprus Cup between February 25 to March 7, facing Belgium, Slovakia, and Austria in Group C.

With the two tournaments already secured, the Eskilstuna United midfielder is asking for more games to be secured for the team for the available international windows in April and June.

"The tournament in China and Cyprus is not enough, because these games are in January and February," Okobi told BBC Sports.

"What then happens after February until June? We need more quality international friendlies to put us in shape.

"Top friendlies bring the best out of the team. They also provide enough time for the players to further understand the coach's ideas, philosophy and also to get used to ourselves.

"The World Cup is not a place for us to be trying things out, so we need top matches to prepare us adequately."

Troubled by their unconvincing form in Awcon 2018 triumph, Okobi feels the country needs to ‘triple things up’ in terms of preparations to avoid another horrible World Cup campaign.

"It's very important for the federation to arrange something big for us. We've witnessed how the gap is gradually closing on the continent between us and others," she continued

"For the World Cup we need to triple things up because we can't wake up one morning without top matches and then start travelling to France."

Nigeria will be hoping for a positive start on their eighth appearance against Norway on June 8 in Reims, before facing South Korea in Grenoble on June 12, and later France five days later in Rennes.