By Victor Okoye
Onome Ebi, captain of the senior national women football team, says the Super Falcons will be aiming for a semi-final spot at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 9th FIFA Women’s World Cup finals will hold in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to Aug. 20.
Ebi, while speaking with NAN following the FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy tour in Abuja on Sunday, said the team’s goal was to better their record at their last outing.
“We are going there to give our best and our target is to at least get to the last four having made it to the round of 16 in our last outing at France in 2019.
“However, there are no guarantees, we are just going there to play our game. We are working towards it and have been playing several high-profile friendly games.
“In spite of the fact that the results are not what Nigerians want, I believe our losses will help us get better as we work on our mistakes ahead of the World Cup.
“The World Cup finals is the big target and that’s what we are working for,” she said.
On grassroots development of women football in the country, she said there was a need to give serious attention to secondary school football.
Ebi added that it was also necessary to enhance, harmonise and coordinate academies in the country.
“It is pertinent that we need to decentralise the culture of having the base and pinnacle of football just when the players get to the national teams.
“We must begin to look for those players who are in our schools and are young. We must expand the scope of participation to the young girls,” she said.
The Falcons captain advised the national under-17 team, the Flamingos, not to relent in their pursuit for greatness.
She said listening to the young girls tell their stories took her down memory lane as she could relate with the difficulties and challenges they face on a daily basis.
“Everything they were talking about from the challenges of family, school and their football career happened to me as well.
“These are obstacles they must face and conquer if they hope to fulfill their dreams.
“They must believe in themselves, fight and push through this difficult early stage in their career,” Ebi said.(NAN