The First Lady, Oluremi Tinubu, alongside top government functionaries, will attend the send-forth dinner of the Super Falcons ahead of the team’s departure for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup is scheduled to take place over a period of one month, starting from July 20 to August 20.
In a statement on Thursday, Head of Communications of the NFF, Ademola Olajire, noted that the dinner, organised by the country’s football body, will be held on Saturday at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
“We are expecting the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, Ismaila Abubakar, as well as other top sports officials.
“A good number of the team as well as technical and administrative officials are expected alongside the rank and file of the NFF led by the President, Ibrahim Musa Gusau, and the General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi.
“The event at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel will also attract corporate chieftains, members of the diplomatic corps, and a range of football stakeholders.
“On Sunday, the nine-time African champions will depart the shores of Nigeria for a 15-day camping programme in Australia, before they enter into camp for the tournament beginning from July 20 to Aug. 20,” Olajire noted.
Nigeria’s first match of the finals is against Canada, at Melbourne’s Rectangular Stadium, on July 21 before clashing with Australia and the Republic of Ireland on July 27 and July 31, respectively, at Lang Park in Brisbane.
NAN reports that Australia and New Zealand 2023 will be the biggest-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in history, as it welcomes 32 teams—the same number as featured in the men’s finals in Qatar last year.
It is also the first to be hosted by two countries as well as the first-ever FIFA senior competition to be hosted by two nations in two different confederations: Australia in the Asian confederation and New Zealand in Oceania.
Nigeria’s captain, Onome Ebi, will be one of the oldest players at the tournament, at 40, alongside Brazil’s Marta and Canada’s Christine Sinclair.
The three women will be featured in their sixth FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament.
According to the NFF, 24 hours before the Send-Forth at the Transcorp Hilton, the Australian High Commission will host the Falcons to a dinner, courtesy of the Ag. High Commissioner, Her Excellency Leanne Johnston.
NAN reports that the Super Falcons are in Group ‘B’ alongside Australia, Canada, and the Republic of Ireland.
Nigeria has previously played the Canadian and Australian women’s national teams at the FIFA World Cup.
The Canadians have been unable to defeat Nigeria at the World Cup, drawing 3-3 in 1995 and losing 1-0 in 2011.
Nigeria’s meeting with Australia at the FIFA World Cup in 2015 ended in a 2-0 victory in favour of the Australians.