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Paris 2024 Olympics: Super Falcons’ camp bubbles as 14 players begin training

Nigeria’s best outing so far at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament was in Athens 20 years ago, where the Super Falcons finished in 6th place after exiting the tournament in the quarterfinals.

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Nigeria’s Super Falcons have begun preparations for their first appearance at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in 16 years, as their camp in the city of Jerez de la Frontera outside Sevilla has come alive with most of the invited players.

Team Administrator Mary Oboduku informed thenff.com that the team expected two more players at the Hotel Barceló Montecastillo Golf and Resort by Monday afternoon, following the arrival of 12 players at breakfast on Monday.

“We started training on Sunday, and the camp is calm. The players are in very high spirits as they look forward to the tournament in France,” Oboduku told thenff.com.

Team captain Rasheedat Ajibade and first-choice goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie are already at the head of the squad in camp, with goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi, defenders Chidinma Okeke and Nicole Payne, midfielders Christy Ucheibe, Toni Payne, Deborah Abiodun, and Jennifer Echegini, and forward Esther Okoronkwo also in. Alternate players, goalkeeper Morufa Ademola and forward Gift Monday, are also on the ground.

Defenders Osinachi Ohale and Michelle Alozie were expected at the team’s hotel Monday afternoon.

The nine-time African champions, who last played at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in China in 2008, will take on reigning Olympic champions Canada in a training match in Sevilla on Wednesday, July 17.

Canada’s ladies defeated their counterparts from Sweden 3-2 after a penalty shootout, following a 1-1 draw in regulation and extra time, to clinch the gold medal in Tokyo three years ago.

In their last outing at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, the Falcons lost 0-1 to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, 0-1 to Germany, and 1-3 to eventual silver medalists Brazil.

Women’s football debuted at the Olympic Games as a demonstration sport in 1996, but the Super Falcons made their entry in 2000 in Australia, where they lost 1-3 each to China, eventual winners Norway, and eventual silver medalists USA. Perpetua Nkwocha scored the lone goal against China, while Mercy Akide was the scorer against both Norway and the USA.

Nigeria’s best outing so far at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament was in Athens 20 years ago, where the Super Falcons finished in 6th place after exiting the tournament in the quarterfinals.

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