For the first time in about three decades, super falcons’ defender, Onome Ebi, will be missing from the squad as Nigeria face Ethiopia in this month’s Paris 2024 Olympics qualifier.
Onome Ebi who is 40 years, became the oldest female player in Africa to play at the 2023 women’s World cup, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
She had featured in several other tournaments including playing in six African women’s nations’ cup.
At a point, some Nigerian fans called on her to retire, but Ebi was adamant, insisting that she would continue to play for the national as long as her body allowed her. But what appears a ‘forced retirement’ may have come from the Nigeria football federation (NFF), as she was left out of the 19 players invited to the super falcons’ camp for this month’s Paris 2024 Olympics qualifier against Ethiopia.
The east African country, Ethiopia, will host the first leg of the second-round fixture in Addis Ababa on October 25, with the second leg in Nigeria on October 31.
Ethiopia eliminated Chad in the first round of the series as Nigeria drew a bye to the third round of the 2024 women Africa cup of nation’s qualification series, after Sao tome and Principe’s senior girls scratched the tie. The falcons will be up against their counterparts from Cape Verde in the third round of that series at the end of November.
Meanwhile, former super falcons coach, Godwin Izilien, has applauded the decision to exclude Ebi from the super falcons squad for the Paris 2024 Olympics qualifier against Ethiopia.
Ebi played under Izilien at the 2004 edition of the African women’s championship held in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Among those invited for the tie against Ethiopia are goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie, Tochukwu Oluehi.
The defenders are Osinachi Ohale, Comfort Folorunsho, Oluwatosin Demehin, Michelle Alozie, Nicole payne, Jumoke Alani and Rofiat Imuran.
The midfielders are Halimatu Ayinde, Peace Efih, Christy Ucheibe, Rasheedat Ajibade, Toni Payne and Regina Otu.
The invited attackers are Omorinsola Babajide, Ifeoma Onumonu, Asisat Oshoala, Uchenna Kanu, Gift Monday and Opeyemi Ajakaye.