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Paris 2024 Journey Resumes For African Women Footballers –

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Paris 2024 Journey Resumes For African Women Footballers -

The race towards securing the two spots reserved for Africa at the Paris 2024 Olympics resumes on Friday. Eight nations are vying for the two spots reserved for the continent and CAFOnline takes a look at these encounters in the women’s football edition.

Cameroon – Nigeria: African classic

It’s the great classic of African women’s football. Cameroon welcomes Nigeria to Douala.

The visiting Super Falcons carry the psychological advantage, with the last 10 fixtures between the two sides only being won twice by Cameroon.

Since their FIFA Women’s World Cup™ round of 16 exit, Nigeria has enjoyed a good form and will be bringing their experience into the clash.

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Tunisia – Morocco: A North African derby full of promise

Quarter-finalist at the last edition of the CAF TotalEnergies Women’s African Cup of Nations, Tunisia faces the ever-improving Morocco who were runner’s up at the TotalEnergies Women’s AFCON in an epic North African derby.

The two sides will not only be aiming at getting positive results to step closer to securing a place in the Olympics but will also play for pride in the North African derby.

Zambia – Ghana: Copper Queens looking eyeing second consecutive Olympics appearance

An interesting tie awaits Ghana’s capital of Ghana.

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Following their appearance at the last edition of the Olympics, Zambia know the exact feeling of being at the global showpiece and will want to see themselves there again. But first, they need to overcome the Black Queens who will be boosted by their home fans.

Meanwhile, the Copper Queens will have to give it their all despite the sad passing of their teammate, Norin Betani.

Tanzania – South Africa: No walk in the park

It will be an interesting tie between Tanzania who are fast becoming a force in African women’s football against the reigning African champions South Africa. While on paper this may look a walk in the park for the reigning African champions who missed out on the last edition of the Olympics, they will have to be wary of the danger posed by the rising Tanzanian nation who will be at home.

 -CAF

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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This Super Falcons can cause upset at the Olympics says Randy Waldrum

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Nigeria’s senior women’s national team coach, Randy Waldrum says the current crop of Super Falcons players deserve the opportunity to compete at the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics and represent Nigeria at the global showpiece.

The Super Falcons coach was reacting to his sides’ qualification to the Paris 2024 tournament after holding South Africa to a goalless stalemate in Pretoria that resulted in them securing a place to their fourth Olympics after last making an appearance in 2008.

“These women deserve this opportunity to go represent our country of Nigeria in the best possible way and as we know with this is the Olympics. Every team is top teams and you look at our group it’s it’s again like the World Cup so those are some things that come to mind because I’m already thinking about what we need to do to get ready” said a delighted Waldrum.

The Super Falcons edged the reigning WAFCON champions 1-0 in Abuja on 05 April before the goalless draw in Pretoria a few days later which was enough to see them join the Copper Queens of Zambia who did the unthinkable by reversing a 2-1 deficit to edge Morocco 2-0 at home and secure their second consecutive ticket to the Olympics.

“I think we were just much better organized than the previous two times that we had played them and so that’s why I felt confident going into these two games. I believed in our team and I knew that we would be a hard team to break down even with their talent and the thing that you hope is that you can finish a few of your opportunities to advance and I think that’s what we did against South Africa” concluded Waldrum.

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The Super Falcons will face world champions Spain, Japan and Brazil in Group C.

 

 

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Athletics’ Olympic prize money plan unfair to other sports, says Britain 5-time champion

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World Athletics’ (WA) decision to give prize money to Olympic gold medallists is unfair to other sports that cannot afford to do the same, Britain’s five-times Olympic rowing champion Steve Redgrave said.

Athletics became the first sport to offer prize money to Olympic champions when WA President Sebastian Coe announced on Wednesday that gold medallists in Paris this year will each earn $50,000.

The announcement was met with a positive reaction from the world’s leading athletes, with the $2.4 million prize pot to be split among the 48 gold medallists in Paris.

A total of $540 million was allocated to the 28 sports at the Tokyo Games with World Athletics receiving the most at $40 million.

Redgrave, who won five successive Olympic gold medals between 1984 and 2000, said the prize money plan would turn the Olympics into a “two-tier” system.

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“If you win an Olympic gold medal in any athletics event, you are able to earn substantial financial gains from those results,” the 62-year-old told the Daily Mail in an interview published on Thursday.

“It smacks a bit hard for the sports that can’t afford to do this. Rowing is in that situation. We struggle bringing sponsorship and finance into it. This separates the elite sports to the others like rowing, canoeing and most combat sports.

“They just don’t have the same funding that there is in World Athletics. I would prefer that the money they’re putting in to be helping more of the grassroots of their own sports – or helping other Olympic sports to be able to be at the same level on the same footprint.”

-Reuters

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Paris-bound Super Falcons return, commend Nigeria’s Charge d’Affaires Ajayi

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Alexander Tope Ajayi (in-between Coach Waldrum and leader of delegation Rt. Hon. Margaret Icheen) with some members of the Super Falcons’ delegation in Pretoria on Wednesday. 

Nigeria’s triumphant delegation to South Africa for Tuesday’s Women’s Olympic Football Tournament final qualifying game flew back to the country on Wednesday night, with words of praise for Nigeria’s Charge d’Affaires at the Nigeria High Commission in Pretoria, Alexander Tope Ajayi.

With a 1-0 win over the Banyana Banyana in Abuja on Friday last week, The Pride of Africa dug their feet into the ground to grind a favourable scoreless draw that qualified Nigeria to the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament for the first time in 16 years.

While most of the players and Coach Randy Waldrum left for their different bases direct from Johannesburg, eight players and the other team officials flew back to Lagos on Wednesday night aboard a South African Airways flight.

NFF’s Director of Competitions, Ruth David told thenff.com that South African Football Association authorities abandoned the Super Falcons immediately after Tunisian referee Dorsaf Ganouati’s final whistle confirmed that Nigeria, and not South Africa, would be joining Brazil, Spain and Japan in Group C of this year’s Olympic Tournament.

“SAFA officials made it clear that we were thenceforth on our own. They said the bus would not move us to anywhere again, that their responsibilities ended with the final whistle. They only took us back to the hotel, and no longer detailed security personnel for the delegation.

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“We must commend the Charge d’Affaires in the Nigerian High Commission in Pretoria, Mr. Alexander Tope Ajayi for all his efforts. He made the team feel comfortable and at home right from our arrival, organized dinner for the team and mobilized and provided transport for Nigerians based in Pretoria to come to the stadium and support the team. He also organized transport and saw the team off to the airport on departure.”

Captain Rasheedat Ajibade’s well-taken penalty separated the two leading African women teams over both legs and sent the Falcons to France, while the Banyana will miss a third Olympics after their only previous appearance in London 12 years ago.

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