Nigeria relieved after Norway left out Hegerberg from Women's World Cup squad

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The Grasshoppers will be without the Ballon d'Or winner when they launch their campaign against the African queens on June 8

Reigning Ballon d'Or winner Ada Hegerberg will not be in action when Norway face Nigeria in a Women's World Cup clash in Reims on June 8.

Hegerberg had quit international football in protest against gender inequality in 2017 and coach Martin Sjögren's failed attempts to resolve the dispute saw her left out of his final 23-team squad.

The 23-year-old's absence came as a great relief to the African champions, who are zoned against the Norwegians, South Korea and hosts France in Group A.

The 1995 world champions are set to face Cameroon in a friendly in France on June 2 in a bid to test themselves against African opposition before facing the Super Falcons six days later.

Despite going to miss the services of the Lyon star at the World Cup, the gaffer is untroubled as he insists his final 23-team is a well-balanced squad.
   
"There are no big surprises and players we know well," Sjogren told the media at Telenor on Thursday.

"We have worked with a core troupe from the European Championships until now, and I think we have a well-balanced squad. There are some championship debutants and some established.

"It is also exciting with the younger ones coming from the U23 national team, who have done well and now established themselves in our squad.

"There are some positions we have been thinking about, but we have landed this in the end. I think it's a well-composed squad.

"I am very pleased with the preparations for this championship and feel we are well prepared."

Norway and Nigeria have met twice before previously, with the European giants winning on both occasions. 

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The Super Falcons suffered an 8-0 humiliation to the Grasshoppers at the 1995 Women's World Cup in Sweden before bowing to a 3-1 defeat at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

This summer, Nigeria will be hoping to avoid a repeat when they take on the former champions at Stade Auguste-Delaune.

FULL SQUAD
Goalkeepers:
Ingrid Hjelmseth (Stabaek), Cecilie Fiskerstand (LSK), Oda Maria Hove Bogstad (Arna-Bjornar)
Defenders: Ingrid Moe Wold (LSK), Cecilie Redisch Kvamme (Sandviken), Maria Thorisdottir (Chelsea), Maren Mjelde (Chelsea), Stine Hovland (Sandviken)
Midfielders: Synne Skinnes Hansen (LSK), Kristine Minde (Wolfsburg), Frida Leonhardsen Maanum (Linkpoing), Vilde Bøe Risa (Kopparbergs/Goteborg), Ingrid Syrstad Engen (LSK), Amalie Vevle Eikeland (Sandviken), Guro Reiten (LSK), Karina Sævik (Kolbotn), Caroline Graham Hansen (Wolfsburg), Emilie Nautnes (Arna-Bjornar)
Forwards: Emilie Haavi (LSK), Therese Sessy Asland (LSK), Isabell Herlovsen (Kolbotn), Lisa-Marie Karlseng Utland (Rosengard), Elise Hove Thorsnes (LSK)

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