We survived ‘war’ in Senegal, says Falcons
Oparanozie’s Head Broken, Officials Cry Foul
Players and officials of the Senior Women National Team, Super Falcons, returned from Dakar, Senegal yesterday with tales of woes.
The Coach Florence Omagbemi-led Falcons drew 1-1 with the Teranga Lioness at the Stade Demba Diop in Dakar on Friday in the first leg of their final qualifier for the African Nations Cup slated for Cameroun later this year.
Shortly on arrival from Dakar yesterday, Co-coordinator of the Super Falcons, Ejiro Femi-Babafemi told The Guardian that what they encountered in Dakar was ‘far from normal football.’
“The Senegalese were all out to injure our players by all means. I have not seen this kind of football in my life,” she stated.
Top striker, Desire Oparanozie, who plays for EN Avent de Guingamp FC in France, was the main target. “There was an up ball and Oparanozie decided to go with her head. But a Senegalese defender used her leg and in the process hit Oparanozie’s head with her stud boot. It coursed serious damage to Oparanozie’s forehead. She fell down and there was serious commotion inside the pitch.
“Even the Senegalese became afraid seeing blood gushing out from Oparanozie’s head. What baffled me was that the referee did not even bother to issue a card to the Senegalese despite the gravity of the offense. The Senegalese continued with their rough play and no one could tender any apology to our player. Oparanozie’s head was stitched and is heavily bandaged as we speak. The Senegalese flew with us on same plane to Nigeria for the second leg and they are not interacting with us. To me, that is not good for football,” Babafemi stated.
Oparanozie’s injury before the break paved the way for Rivers Angels striker, Chioma Wogu to come in. She shot Nigeria into the lead a minute to half time, but the Senegal, winners over Guinea in the previous round, got the equalizer in the second half.
The return leg will take place at the National Stadium, Abuja on Tuesday, starting from 4pm.