Super Falcons head coach Randy Waldrum has addressed criticism surrounding his squad selection for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Amid the controversy surrounding the omissions and exclusion of local players and Ngozi Okobi Okeoghene, Waldrum defended his choices and emphasized the team’s prospects.
The 66-year-old American coach has faced backlash from various quarters regarding the absence of certain players and the decision to exclude players from the Nigerian national scene in his final roster for the 2023 FIFA World Cup.
In response to the exclusion of midfielder Ngozi Okobi Okeoghene, Waldrum reiterated that his selection was based on the belief that the players chosen would give the team the best chance of success.
“Without talking about specific players, it’s fair to say that we chose a group that we believed would give us a chance to win. When you have to select only 23 players, unfortunately some players will be left out,” Waldrum explained to PUNCH.
Addressing concerns about the inclusion of Deborah Abiodun, who was said by some to be the favorite due to her previous experience playing for Waldrum’s American team, the coach clarified his decision. He highlighted Abiodun’s performance in recent camps and her successful World Cup campaign with the Under-20 team, expressing confidence in her abilities and projecting a bright future for her in the Super Falcons team.
The Super Falcons are scheduled to arrive in Australia on July 4 for a final 15-day camp programme, with the aim of fine-tuning their preparations before the tournament begins on July 20.
Nigeria Women’s National Team World Cup Schedule
Dates/Times: Nigeria time
July 21 – 3:30 am — vs Canada (Group Stage Game 1)
July 27 – 11 am — vs Australia (Group Stage Match 2)
July 31 – 11 am — vs Republic of Ireland (Group Stage Game 3)