Nigeria’s Super Falcons ahead of the International friendly matches against Canada has named defender Onome Ebi as the new captain of the team.
Ebi was last night introduced as the new skipper to the team in Canada. She has the record of African highest appearances at the World Cup will assisted by CSKA Moscow’s Fransisca Ordega according to the team’s Technical Adviser, Randy Waldrum.
FC Barcelona striker, Asisat Oshoala has been leading the team since 2019 when then-coach Chris Danjuma stripped Desire Oparanozie of the armband after falling out with the top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation, having led a sit-in protest against the NFF.
The change of captainship comes just few days before Nigeria’s 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations build-up against Olympic champions Canada in two-legged ties on 8 and 11 April respectively in British Columbia.
Head coach Randy Waldrum had named a 25-player roster with the Barcelona star, not in the traveling squad due to injury, having only just seen out seven of her 10-month on the sidelines. The 28-year-old striker will now be missing the fourth successive game for Nigeria due to the thigh injury she suffered while on international duty in February.
Although the Lagos-born star has been in breathtaking form for Barcelona, boasting of 19 goals in 16 games, she is yet to hit the net for Nigeria in last six outings since her treble against Equatorial Guinea in Turkey in February 2021.
As captain, she starred and inspired the Super Falcons to Turkish Women’s Cup triumph but could not help the team to avoid missing a third consecutive Olympics and also lost the maiden Aisha Buhari Cup title to South Africa.
Ebi now 38-years, had worn the armband in the absence of injured Oshoala and late-arriving assistant Francisca Ordega and led her country to a 2-0 home win over Cote d’Ivoire in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The former Minsk defender, who had also co-captained alongside Rita Chikwelu when both inspired the country to glory at the 2018 Women’s Africa
Cup of Nations in Ghana, will now lead the Super Falcons to a 12th campaign in Morocco, where she will make her seventh WAFCON outing, holding from July 2 to 23 this year.
Waldrum, who is the fourth different manager to handle the Super Falcons in the last four WAFCON outings, will be counting on Ebi’s good leadership The Spanish players’ union has said it will challenge in court the “unilateral” dismissal of Kelechi Nwakali by SD Huesca.
The players’ union AFA Futbol stated in an official statement that the labour rights of Super Eagles midfielder Nwakali were violated by the club.
This week, Huesca terminated Nwakali’s contract, which was due to run out in June.
He was earlier suspended without pay in February after he returned late from the AFCON in Cameroon.
Nwakali himself claimed his participation at the AFCON was one of the reasons Huesca fired him.