Daily Champion (Lagos)

10 September 2007

Nigeria: Chinese Refs to Handle Falcons

Lagos — The female national team, Super Falcons will kick off their campaign at the FIFA Women's World Cup in China on Tuesday, with Chinese referees taking charge of their opening group B clash with Sweden in Chengdu.

The Nigerian girls arrived in Chengdu on Wednesday afternoon, and should have a boost from the arrival of dropped team skipper, Kikelomo Ajayi, who will fly into China to cheer up the girls.

Another boost has come for the girls, as Falcons' former top striker, Mercy Akide-Udoh, who was delivered of a baby girl in Minnesota, USA on Friday, has also sent a message of goodwill to the African queens.

Chinese referee Huijun Niu will be in the center with compatriots Hongjuan Liu and Hongjue Fu as assistants, and Japanese Mayumi Oiwa as fourth official.

Australian Tammy Ogston will be center referee of Monday's championship opening match between Germany and Argentina in Shanghai.

Sweden are strong mentally, tactically and technically but the African champions say they will stand up to them and fight for every blade of grass at the Chengdu Stadium.

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