President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ibrahim Musa Gusau has assured that nine-time African champions Nigeria will be ready to put up an excellent show when the 9th FIFA Women’s World Cup finals commence in Australia and New Zealand on 20th July.
“Nigeria is very excited to be amongst the 32 finalist countries for the FIFA Women’s World Cup; the first to be co-hosted and the first ever for 32 teams. It is indeed a historic moment for us at the NFF and the Super Falcons and indeed for all the other teams that qualified.
“Indeed, the Government and people of Nigeria have high expectations for this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup competition. Our Super Falcons have been preparing hard and still preparing to make an excellent run in Australia and New Zealand…we want to assure you that our Super Falcons will not be coming to Australia and New Zealand just to make up the number,” Gusau said at the Nigeria leg of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy Tour at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja on Sunday morning.
The day’s programme started at the Anglican Girls Secondary School, Apo where the school’s fascinated 115 students took turns to take photographs with the original Trophy, alongside the five-member FIFA team and a number of NFF Management officials.
The main event at the Transcorp Hilton also had the Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Leann Johnston, as well as Madam Aisha Falode and Margaret Icheen, members of the NFF Executive Committee; NFF Management officials; the five-member FIFA team of Giulia Türkyilmaz, Alexa Sunderland, Felipe Chevita, Jot Jakher and Aurelien Fougere; Super Falcons’ captain Onome Ebi and; players and officials of NWFL Premier League side Naija Ratels led by the proprietor, Barr. Paul Edeh.
Johnston said: “We are excited to welcome Nigeria to Australia for the tournament and we’re looking forward to the group match between them on 27 July in Brisbane. Australia is rightly proud of the achievements of our women’s national team, the Matildas, who are currently ranked 12th in the world.
“Australians know that the Super Falcons have a long reputation and are not to be taken lightly. The Super Falcons have played in every FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament and are by far Africa’s most successful women’s football team.”
Dignitaries and guests took turns to take photos with the most coveted prize in women’s football as some players of the FIFA U17 World Cup bronze medallists Flamingos of Nigeria regaled the auditorium with their humble beginnings and challenges on the way to the top.
Nigeria is one of only seven countries to have featured in every edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup since the competition was launched in 1991. The others are the USA, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Norway and Sweden. This year’s finals will be the first finals to be held in the Southern Hemisphere, the first to welcome 32 teams and the first to be played across two countries in two different confederations.