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Oshoala: Barcelona striker stripped off Nigeria captaincy - Reports

22:44 GMT+3 07/04/2022
Asisat Oshoala
The Blaugranes forward will no longer wear the Super Falcons armband with a replacement named by Randy Waldrum

Asisat Oshoala has been stripped off the captaincy duties with Nigeria, several reports have claimed.

This change comes two days before the Super Falcons’ double-header international friendly against reigning champions Canada in British Columbia.

Oshoala, four-time African Women’s Player of the Year, took over the leadership of the team in 2019 following Desire Oparanozie’s fallout with then acting coach Christopher Danjuma.

Meanwhile, coach Randy Waldrum has named veteran defender Onome Ebi as the team’s new leader while refusing to comment about what inspired the change.

Nevertheless, a top official who pleaded anonymity hinted that the decision was not far-fetched from the player’s form during international duties.

"We have no issue whatsoever with Asisat [Oshoala] but thoughts of stripping her of the armband came after Aisha Buhari Cup last September," he told SportNewsAfrica.

"This is not for anything negative but for troubling concerns of seeing her struggle in national team colours. 

“We and the coach [Waldrum] observed the captaincy is weighing her down and affecting her play.

“With or without it, we believe she is a true professional player and should not struggle to prove otherwise by delivering on the pitch."

Due to fitness issues, Oshoala has not been called up for the international friendlies in Vancouver on Friday.

The former Arsenal and Liverpool star broke into the international limelight at the 2014 Fifa U20 Women’s World Cup. There she won the Golden Boot with seven goals while walking away with the best player prize.

That same year, she was part of the senior national team that won the 2014 Africa Women Cup of Nations staged in Namibia.

Even with her unimpressive display for Nigeria, the 27-year-old has been in ruthless form for her Spanish elite division outfit. 

In the 2021-22 campaign, she scored 19 times in 16 games as the Catalans claimed the league title for the third successive season after thrashing Real Madrid. 

Thanks to her contributions, Oshoala was handed a contract extension that will keep her at Barcelona until June 30, 2024.