Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president, Amaju Pinnick, has affirmed that the Super Falcons will play at least eight matches in their build-up to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Pinnick acknowledged that country’s female national team has only two international breaks before France 2019, which would have left them with only two build-up friendlies, but says the NFF enrolled the team for two competitions in order to accord them more match opportunities before the competition.
It was gathered further that the Super Falcons might end up playing up to 12 matches en route to France 2019, as the second of the two competitions the team will feature in has group and knock out stages.
Pinnick added that the Falcons will start their preparation as early as January, when they go for a four-nation competition in China, then go for the major build-up outing at a 16-nation invitational in Cyprus.
Pinnick stressed the NFF went ahead to ensure the Falcons were quickly registered for both competitions, because they are focused on giving the nine-time African Women Cup of Nations champions a strong chance of doing well at the World Cup.
Nigeria are drawn in Group A alongside hosts France, Norway and the Korea Republic, ahead of which Pinnick says the Falcons need the best kind of preparations to stand any chance of doing well next year.
Pinnick added: “We aren’t going to France to make up the numbers of participating nations, but to play and make a respectable impact. As you know, there are only two free windows before the World Cup, but we decided that instead of playing friendly matches the team will embark on an invitational tournament to boost their preparations.”
He continued: “I can confirm to you that come January 14 next year the team will be heading to Asia. There they will play Korea, who happen to be in our group, China and Canada, who are among the biggest nations when it comes to women’s football.”