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FIFA celebrates Super Falcons legend Onome Ebi with iconic World Cup photos

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World football governing body, FIFA, has celebrated former Super Falcons defender, Onome Ebi, with the release of her iconic World Cup photographs in a collage.

The pictures which were posted on FIFA’s website on Tuesday, showed different images of the former Falcons captain at different stages of different tournaments where she played key roles for the team.

Along with the photos was a message that said:

“Onome Ebi: Through the years. 🇳🇬 #FIFAWWC.”

The Falcons legend made history at last year’s women’s world cup when she became the first African woman to play in six editions of the mundial, before calling it quits with the national team at the age of 40.

Ebi’s feat of appearing at six world cups was only achieved by the trio of Homare Sawa of Japan, Christine Sinclair of Canada, and Marta of Brazil, while only Formiga of Brazil, who has competed in seven competitions, is ahead of Ebi.

She made her debut appearance at a FIFA Women’s World Cup at the 2003 edition held in the USA at the tender age of 20.

Since her debut, Ebi went on to feature in five other world cups and rounded up with the last edition hosted by Australia and New Zealand before bowing out of the Nigerian female national team last year.

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Nigeria, Zambia clinch women Olympic football slots for Paris 2024

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The Super Falcons of Nigeria and the Copper Queens of Zambia on Tuesday picked the last two spots in the women’s football tournament at the Paris Olympics after winning two-legged playoffs in the fourth round of African qualifiers.

While Nigeria played out a goalless draw against the Banyana Banyana of South Africa in Pretoria to qualify after a 1-0 win in Abuja last week, Zambia needed an extra time win to get past Morocco in Rabat in their second leg encounter.

The Copper Queens successfully turned a 2-1 first-leg home defeat into a 3-2 aggregate triumph with a 2-0 win over the Atlas Lionesses at Moulay Hassan Stadium.

Orlando Pride of USA striker, Barbra Banda, opened the scoring for Zambia in the 38th minute and got her brace when she converted a penalty in the 105th minute to send her country to the Olympic starting in July.

However, the two African countries have been drawn into tough groups for the football event at the Games.

The Super Falcons will take on world champions Spain and former world champions Japan and Brazil in Group C at the Olympics while Zambia is in Group B alongside France, former champions the United States and Germany as well as last year’s women World Cup semi-finalists, Australia.

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Spain denies Nigeria’s ‘Future Eagles’ visa for international tournament

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Spanish authorities have denied Nigeria’s Under-15 football team, popularly known as Future Eagles, the opportunity of participating in an international invitational tournament which would also feature Belgium, Italy and England.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), in a post on its X handle on Tuesday, said members of junior football team including the players and their officials were denied visas to attend the tournament in Spain.

The Nigerian football body said though the Spanish embassy did not give reasons for the visa denial, the team would “therefore not be travelling to take part in the Uefa U16 Development Tournament.”

The Future Eagles made up of 20 players and seven officials, were set to depart Nigeria on Tuesday, ahead of their first match against Belgium scheduled for Friday, before squaring up against Italy and England.

The Uefa Under-16 Youth Development Tournament, which is organised by Europe’s football governing body, has been held since 2012 and is intended to expose elite junior players to international football and ease their transition into senior levels of the sport.

The Future Eagles, coached by Patrick Bassey, recently returned from a tournament in Morocco where they won one match and lost one against their Moroccan counterparts on a two-match tour of that North African country.

Their first game had ended in a 2-3 defeat, but they bounced back to win the second game 5-3 in the city of Kenitra.

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