Falcons, Lionesses battle for Olympic ticket in Douala


By: Ebenezer Bajela

After missing out on the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament for three consecutive times, Super Falcons face another daunting task against fierce rivals Cameroon for a spot at the 2024 edition in Paris later this year, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

This crucial two-legged tie, set for February 23 and 26, stands as the penultimate hurdle to securing a coveted spot in Paris 2024.

The Falcons eliminated Ethiopia in the second round to get to this round, where they battle the Lionesses  — who beat Uganda 3-2 on aggregate — in the final qualifiers for Paris 2024 as they hope to qualify for the Olympics for the first time since Beijing 2008.

The first leg of the encounter will take place at the Stade de la Reunification in Douala on Friday (today), with the Confederation of African Football appointing Ugandan Shamirah Nabadda as the centre referee for the match.

Buoyed by the return of head coach, Randy Waldrum, who is set to be on the touchline for the first time since their World Cup outing last year in Australia and New Zealand, the Falcons will leave no stone unturned in their quest for Olympic qualification.

Speaking ahead of the game, Ifeoma Onumonu believes the Falcons have the quality to earn a berth in Paris 2024.

“I am really confident of our qualification because I think we have a good team, we are together and we are prepared, and I think we are going to beat this team both away and in our home, no disrespect to them though,” Onumonu told paimedia.com.

“I want to promise we are going to be at this year’s Olympics, I mean we haven’t been there for years, so that is our real number one goal, anything can happen in this game, but our focus right now is to beat Cameroon.”

Waldrum has assembled a squad of 21 players, who travelled to Douala for the crucial first-leg encounter.

The team will then return to Abuja for the return leg against the Lionesses at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.