Asisat Oshoala, Echegini Stun NFF With Withdrawal From WAFCON Qualifiers

Nigeria Football Federation has confirmed that FC Barcelona Femení’s forward, Asisat Oshoala and Jennifer Echegrini have withdrawn from the Super Falcons squad to face Cape Verde in a Women’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifying tie this week.

INFORMATION NIGERIA reports that the eleven times champions and the above mentioned African nation will play their first leg on Thursday at Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja.

However, the NFF in a statement on Sunday disclosed that Coach Justin Madugu will have to select replacements for the FC Barcelona striker and the American-based midfielder.

The NFF communications department, assistant director (Technical), Abdulrafiu Yusuf, said that the two players had been sent their flight tickets to travel to Nigeria a whole week before they announced on Saturday that they would be unable to join the squad.

Yusuf said: “We were surprised that they had the flight tickets for so long and did not say anything, only for them to send different messages on Saturday that they would be unable to make the trip. However, Coach Madugu has moved swiftly to call up replacements for them.”

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Nigeria Under-20 forward Chioma Olise will take the place of US-based Echegini while Chiamaka Chukwu of Rivers Angels has been called up to take Oshoala’s place.

Midfield lynchpin Halimatu Ayinde, who missed the 2024 Olympics qualifying fixture against Ethiopia last month, is still out injured, and forward Ifeoma Onumonu also requested to be left out, saying she was nursing an injury. Defender Michelle Alozie told the team administrator that she would be undergoing surgery.

Meanwhile, coach Madugu has called up Portugal-based Peace Efih to once again to fill the space vacated by Ayinde, while Rivers Angels’ midfielder Motunrayo Ezekiel will take the place of Christy Ucheibe, who is unable to travel to Nigeria from her base in Portugal.