Nigeria omit Cynthia Uwak from World Cup squad

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport, Lagos
Nigeria's Cynthia Uwak
Uwak has been left out of Nigeria's squad for the Women's World Cup

Cynthia Uwak has been left out of Nigeria's final squad for the Fifa Women's World Cup in Germany, which runs between 26 June and 17 July.

No official reason was given for the omission of the Germany-based star, who is revered by Nigerian fans and media.

Coach Eucharia Uche did include seven players with World Cup experience - veteran Perpetua Nkwocha among them.

The Nigerians will open their campaign against France on 26 June 2011, before meeting hosts Germany and Canada.

The African champions are in a tricky Group A, with Germany, who thrashed Nigeria 8-0 last December, the reigning champions and France vastly improved.

After meeting Germany on 30 June, Nigeria finish their campaign against Canada on 5 July.

Nkwocha headlines a veteran quartet - including Stella Mbachu, Precious Dede and Faith Ikidi - who have made it into a relatively young Super Falcons squad.

"The coach has strictly gone with players that are capable of doing the country proud at the World Cup in Germany," Nigeria Football Federation spokesman Ademola Olajire told BBC Sport.

"The team has been in Saalfelden, Austria, since 26 May, and they have played against clubs and national sides - both male and female - there in Austria.

"Mentally the team is well prepared and the federation has given them all the required and necessary support to do well in Germany."

The Super Falcons won their record sixth African title after beating Equatorial Guinea 4-2 in the final of the African Women's Championship last November.

But they have failed to translate their continental dominance on the world stage despite qualifying for every edition of the World Cup since 1991.

To date, their best performance came in 1999 when they reached the quarter-finals.

Nigeria squad:

Goalkeepers: Precious Dede, Tochukwu Oluehi, Alaba Jonathan

Defenders: Helen Ukaonu, Faith Ikidi, Onome Ebi, Osinachi Ohale, Ulunma Jerome, Josephine Chukwunonye

Midfielders: Rebecca Kalu, Glory Iroka, Rita Chikwelu, Ebere Orji, Ogonna Chukwudi, Perpetua Nkwocha

Strikers: Stella Mbachu, Francisca Ordega, Desire Oparanozie, Sarah Michael, Uchechi Sunday, Amenze Aighewi