WorldCupQualifiers : Flamingos ready for Bantwana
The South Africa delegation to Saturday’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup qualifier against Nigeria’s Flamingos flew into Abuja from Johannesburg in the early hours of Wednesday.
NFF’s Ag. Director of Competitions, Bola Oyeyode, said that the South African Football Association had earlier booked Hotel Bentley, Utako, Abuja for the delegation. He said the team would have the official training at the mainbowl of the National Stadium on Friday.
Oyeyode also confirmed that the Gambian referees appointed for the match, led by referee Isatou Touray, would fly into Abuja on Friday from Banjul.
Fellow Gambians Abbie Ceesay and Jainaba Manneh will serve as assistant referee 1 and assistant referee 2 respectively while Ghanaian Christine Enyonam Ziga would be reserve referee. Ziga will land in Abuja on Thursday.
The match commissioner is Sabine Marie Isabelle Tall Zoungrana from Burkina Faso.
Head Coach of the U-17 Women National Team, Flamingos, Bala Nikyu has assured that his girls are ready for the encounter.
Nikyu, who led the Class of 2014 to the quarter –finals of the World Cup in Costa Rica, spoke after the team’s evening training session on Monday, just as the South African Football Association announced that their contingent to Saturday’s game would arrive in Abuja in the early hours of Wednesday.
“Since resuming camp on February 7, we have been doing a lot of work, and I am very happy with the way everything has gone. I am happy there are no injury worries apart from one that happened few days ago, but the player is fine now. We have been working on our past mistakes and rectifying them, and I believe we will go out there and do the country proud on Saturday.”
The Flamingos pummelled Namibia’s Baby Gladiators 9-0 on aggregate in the second round of the qualifying series, winning 4-0 in Abuja and 5-0 in Windhoek.
Captain of the team, Rasheedat Ajibade is confident that with the high spirit in camp, the girls will deliver on their promise to qualify for the World Cup finals, slated for Jordan in October this year.
She also called on Nigerians to come out en masse and support the team with their presence and prayers, promising they will not be disappointed.
Nigeria has never failed to qualify for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup since its inception in 2008. So far, only four countries are through to the final competition of this year’s edition, namely Jordan (the hosts), Japan, Korea Republic and New Zealand.
Saturday’s showdown between the U-17 women teams of Nigeria’s Flamingos and South Africa’s Bantwana will start at 4pm. The winner on aggregate will earn one of the spots at the 5th FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, taking place in Jordan between 30th September and 21st October 2016.
The other two final round fixtures in Africa will see Ghana up against Morocco and Cameroon taking on Egypt.