The continued blacklisting of Desire Oparanozie by the NFF and Super Falcons Coaches is unprofessional and shameful according to former Nigerian Left back, Ifeanyi Udeze.
Oparanozie captained Nigeria to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where the Super Falcons reached the second round of the championship.
However, following their elimination, controversy brewed when the team staged a sit-in protest, at their hotel over unpaid bonuses and allowances.
The protest was reportedly initiated by Oparanozie, as captain of the Falcons.
Oparanozie had also advocated equal pay for Women and Men’s national team players in recent times.
Since then, the Forward has been stripped of the captaincy and left out of subsequent games.
She was shunned for the Olympic qualifiers against Ivory Coast in 2019 and has also been left out of next month’s Antalya Tournament.
Ifeanyi Udeze, who represented Nigeria between 2000 and 2005 earning 35 caps in that time, disagrees with the decision to omit the Oparanozie.
The former left back described the treatment meted against the Forward as shameful.
“There are things that shouldn’t happen in our football any more because they’ll end up as drawbacks,” He said on his show ‘No Holds Barred’.
“Oparanozie was the Captain to the World Cup and the only reason she has been dropped from the team is because she stood up for her teammates over their unpaid bonuses.
“As the captain, she didn’t come out to speak for herself; she was doing it for the team. That’s why scapegoating her is disgraceful.
“She is active for her club in France, she plays games and has scored goals, but the Falcons Coach is inviting players without clubs, who have not played for many several months.”
The Super Falcons head Coach Randy Waldrum invited Onome Ebi, Francisca Ordega, Chinwendu Ihezuo, all of whom are unattached.
The NFF defended Waldrum’s selection in an interview with Oluwashina Okeleji [BBC Sport]
NFF’s director of communications Ademola Olajire said, “Selection of players is predominantly the prerogative of the coaches and not the NFF.
“She remains an important member of the women’s national side. I think she will just have to keep working on her game and, if she gets the opportunity, then push for a consistent selection.”
The 27 year-old responded to the NFF with a tweet, calling the reasons given as a “Lie”.
“Work on my game and push for consistent selection”. Those ones who’s been without club for over a year now, how many of their games did they work on over the past one year to merit their inclusion? When we’re spoilt for choice. Look for another lie.
“Work on my game and push for consistent selection”. Those ones who’s been without club for over a year now, how many of their games did they work on over the past one year to merit their inclusion? When we’re spoilt for choice. Look for another lie. https://t.co/v9kkQmlDOf
— oparanozie desire (@oparanozie9) February 13, 2021