Ebi: Nigeria captain sets Fifa Women’s World Cup target

Super Falcons, Nigeria womenBackpagepix

Onome Ebi has disclosed that Nigeria’s ambition at the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations is to defend the continental title as well as qualify for the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup billed for New Zealand and Australia.

The Super Falcons have been pooled in Group C with South Africa, Burundi, and Botswana – with the top two teams qualifying for the knockout phase.

Nigeria commence their campaign against eternal rivals Banyana Banyana on July 4 at the Stade Moulay Hassan, Rabat.

While expecting a tough challenge, the veteran defender insists that her team will not underestimate any team in Morocco owing to the rapid growth in the women’s game in Africa.

“We are aware of the intense competition that is going to play out there in Morocco. We have no illusions,” Ebi said in a NFF statement made available to GOAL.

“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 underrating 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.”

Although Randy Waldrum’s women will face debutants Burundi and Botswana in the preliminary round, she talked about how the Super Falcons plan to negotiate their way to a tenth African title in the North African country.

“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 knock-out rounds. World Cup ticket is paramount, but we also want to retain our trophy.”

The biennial football showpiece has been expanded to 12 from eight to make the championship more competitive.

It will also serve as the African qualifiers for the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup – with the top four teams qualifying for the global tournament, while two more teams will advance to the inter-confederation play-offs.

The 2020 edition was cancelled by Caf due to the Covid-19 pandemic that crippled football activities globally.