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Paris 2024 Qualifiers: Rasheedat Ajibade eyes the Olympic ticket



By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde

Captain of Nigeria’s senior women’s national team, Rasheedat Ajibade said that the objective of Africa’s leading women’s team, the Super Falcons, remains the same right from the beginning of the qualifiers.

The nine-time African champions have the hurdle of African champions, South Africa in a bid to qualify for the Olympics for the first time since 2008.

They have already defeated Ethiopia and Cameroon in the previous round and are close to making their third berth at the Olympics, the primary focus of Ajibade and her teammates.

“From the time we played Ethiopia, we have been committed to seeing these qualification series through,” Ajibade said.

“Our objective has always been to win a slot to the Olympics. Most of us are yet to play in the Olympics and it is a big issue with us. We want to be there in Paris.

“There are a couple of issues the Super Falcons have to sort out with Banyana Banyana, really. However, that is not the motivation this time. The motivation is qualifying for the Olympics.”

Nigeria emerged as Africa’s top team at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand eight months ago, unbeaten in regulation time before exiting at the Round of 16 courtesy of a penalty shootout defeat by England.

At lunchtime on Wednesday, captain Ajibade and 20 other players were in the Super Falcons’ camp, and the team had a second training session at the MKO Abiola Stadium on Wednesday morning.

Bay FC forward, Asisat Oshoala is the last player, who arrived camp on Wednesday night.

Banyana Banyana delegation arrived in Nigeria on Sunday and all foreign stars joined on Wednesday morning.

In Camp:

Goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie, Tochukwu Oluehi, Linda Jiwuaku

Defenders: Jumoke Alani, Osinachi Ohale, Chidinma Okeke, Shukurat Oladipo, Michelle Alozie, Nicole Payne

Midfielders: Rasheedat Ajibade, Toni Payne, Deborah Abiodun, Jennifer Echegini, Christy Ucheibe, Halimatu Ayinde

Forwards: Uchenna Kanu, Gift Monday, Omorinsola Babajide, Ifeoma Onumonu, Esther Okoronkwo, Chiwendu Ihezuo, Asisat Oshoala