Super Falcons captain Asisat Oshoala is hoping the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will subsequently utilize the FIFA windows and organize more international friendly matches for the 9-time African champions in preparation for upcoming competitions.
The Falcons are in Antalya for the Turkish Women’s Cup, where they will face CSKA Moscow on Thursday – their first match in 16 months, following their elimination from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualifiers by Cote d’Ivoire in October, 2019.
After emerging African champions for an 8th time in Cameroon on 3 December, 2016, the Falcons were inactive until April, 2018 when they were thrashed 8-0 by 2019 World Cup hosts France in a friendly match.
The NFF have often failed to organize international friendly matches for the team, especially during FIFA free windows, with their male counterparts the Super Eagles always enjoying the privilege.
Speaking in Antalya, the 4-time Women African Footballer of the Year expressed delight over the reunion with her teammates after 16 months.
“It’s just a good feeling to be back together as a team,” the FC Barcelona Femeni star said. “It’s been a while we got this kind of opportunity. I’m just glad that the girls are back together.
“And hopefully, it continues like this, it doesn’t stop in this particular camping. Maybe, the next one we get another opportunity to come together again so we can actually prepare very well for the African Women Cup of Nations, which is our next big tournament coming up next year, I think.”
The former Rivers Angels, Liverpool and Arsenal Ladies forward also stated that her desire as the captain of the Super Falcons is to ensure unity in the team, while adding that she will have a word with the NFF hierarchy on the need to always keep the team busy with matches during the international breaks.
“There is nothing like a personal goal for me,” the 26-year-old said. “As the captain of the team, I just want to make sure the team is together and the team gets whatever they deserve.
“And also try to speak with the federation as well, like I said earlier, to try to get this type of tournaments for us, try to utilize every international break, and make sure we compete every time with the best in the world, just to get the team going instead of staying months or whatever without playing any game.
“Hopefully, the team will get better and also in terms of welfare, we hope we get better as well.”
At the Turkish Women’s Cup, the Randy Waldrum tutored-side will also battle former African champions Equatorial Guinea and Uzbekistan in the group stage of the tournament.