By Albert Akota
Super Falcons defence stalwart, Onome Ebi says the Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s tournament is a good initiative ahead of the Women Africa Cup of Nations (AWCON) qualifying campaign.
Ebi, star player for FC Minsk of Belarus, who is excited about the tournament said it will help the six nations taking part in it to prepare ahead of their AWCON qualifying games coming up in October.
Nine-time African champions Nigeria will tango with Ghana, Cameroon, Mali, South Africa and Morocco for the glittering trophy at the tournament scheduled for 13th – 21st September 2021.
“With regards to the Dr Aisha Buhari Cup, I see the competition as a good one because it will help most of the teams participating in it ahead of the Women Africa Cup of Nations. As we all know that the last AWCON did not hold due to the coronavirus, I believe this Aisha Buhari Cup is going to help the teams by bringing African teams to play against themselves.
“We just see it like we are playing the Africa Cup Nations again because I see it that it’s the same teams that will likely be playing in the AWCON that will play in this competition. I am really excited and happy that we are going to play against a team like Ghana because we will be playing against them again in the qualifier. I think that will really help in preparing the team because the qualifying games will be in October. So, this tournament in September will help all the teams to prepare well in their qualifying games against their opponents.
“Hopefully, Nigeria will come out great and emerge champions because we have really been working, training and preparing ourselves, trying to come together. And we are grateful to our Coach because he has been working hard to ensure that the team come together to have games. We have played in tournaments in Turkey and USA. And coming to play this coming tournament is really good one for the players.”
The 38-year-old, who is the first African footballer to play in five FIFA World Cup finals, is grateful to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for getting the team into different tournaments as preparation for their AWCON qualifying race.
“I thank NFF for making all these possible. For ensuring that the girls play enough games/competition together. That the girls come together as a team in a camping programme like the one in Austria. It’s really a good one and that it will all come good for us in major tournaments.”