Super Falcons coach Thomas Dennerby has provided reasons for dropping Ini Umotong from the squad that will play in the 2019 World Cup.
Dennerby surprised followers of the team by opting for Uchenna Kanu at the expense of Umotong who impressed for her English club, Brighton.
His decision to leave Umotong out of his final 23 players for the football showpiece has been met with criticism from a section of Nigerians who hold that Umotong should have made the cut.
But despite admitting the decision was a difficult one, Dennerby insists the call to drop the Brighton striker was done for the benefit of the team.
“It’s always tough to take that final decision because if anyone will have to select the squad, they may have picked at least 15 players same like us,” Dennerby told Goal.
“We picked six centre-back players we can use in the centre areas, six midfielders, four wingers and four forwards. The four forwards were Asisat Oshoala, Francisca Ordega, Desire Oparanozie and Uchenna Kanu.
“It was really a tough decision because Ini has improved a lot and also has been working hard. We’re are extremely proud by the effort she made to be one of the four forwards to go to the World Cup.
“We’re really had tough competitions in that department and we think Uchenna and the rest already knew top forwards were those we could take to the tournament.
“It’s a tough competition in all the departments which is always good for the coach because it shows you have a good team.
“If you don’t have to make any tough decision, then the squad is not good enough. I am happy about that we are taking these tough calls as we can only go with 23 players to the World Cup.
“In some way, it’s easy when you have to pick the 23 players that were most ready based on their performances in previous camps.
“When it was done after a couple of hours with the rest technical staff, we were all satisfied with those selected.”
The Falcons will play their last friendly match against Haladas-Viktoria before departing to Reims where they will play their opening game against Norway.