REVEALED: Why Desire Oparanozie Was Recalled To Super Falcons
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By Amaechi Agbo
After two years in the wilderness, former Super Falcons captain, Desire Oparanozie was recalled to the team ahead of the September Aisha Buhari six-nation Invitational Women’s Football Tournament in Lagos, Nigeria.
The Dijon FCO of France attacker joined the Randy Waldrum ladies for a training camp in Austria after she apologised for leading a pay strike two years ago.
Officials said the France-based striker was pardoned by the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) after she handed a letter apologising for her role in a pay strike by the country’s women’s team at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.
The Falcons demanded to be paid bonus for reaching the knockout rounds of the World Cup before they will quit their hotel in Grenoble after a 3-0 loss to Germany in a Round of 16 clash.
Oparanozie was subsequently replaced by Asisat Oshola as captain and did not feature for the country since then.
The African champions will train for eight days in Austria beginning this weekend preparatory to an invitational tournament they will host in Lagos in September as well as an African championship qualifier against arch-rivals Ghana in October.
Since joining the Dijon FCO in 2020, the former Bayelsa Queens and Delta Queens player have made 15 appearances scoring four times.
Her return to the national team is considered a huge plus as her wealth of experience and goal scoring prowess will aid the Falcons in their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers.
Oparanozie has been a regular member of the Nigerian national team since 2010, participating in the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments of 2011, 2015, and 2019.
In April 2019, she was named the new captain of Nigeria by coach Thomas Dennerby who praised Oparanozie for her ‘discipline and good character’.
Following the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, in her role as captain, she led calls for equal pay in Nigerian football citing disparity with the bonuses received by the team’s male counterparts.