Sports

FIFA Women’s World Cup: Record holder Ebi reveals ‘falling sick’ to play football

Onome Ebi in the 2023 Women’s World Cup has become the first African player, male or female, to have featured at six different World Cups.

Super Falcons captain Onome Ebi  has revealed a captivating trick she used earlier in her life when she was just starting to pursue her football career, Soccernet.ng reports

Ebi is currently in the Super Falcons’ camp in the ongoing Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The African side are top of their Group B and need a point against Ireland in their next game to guarantee progression to the next round.

The 2023 edition of the tournament is the 40-year-old’s sixth appearance, a record for an African player, having made her debut at the 2003 World Cup in the United States at the age of 20. In the 2019 edition, Ebi became the first African player, male or female, to play in 5 FIFA World Cup tournaments.

The veteran has played for 10 clubs and has more than 100 caps for the Super Falcons in a career spanning 23 years. She started her career with Bayelsa Queens in Nigeria followed by spells in Sweden, Turkey, Belarus China, and Spain. The Super Falcons captain is also a seven-time Women’s African Cup of Nations(WAFCON) participant and four-time winner of the continental tournament.

However, starting her football career was not easy at the beginning and she has been reflecting on a journey which might not have started at all.

When I was in school, I would sneak out to go play football, She said in her interview with FIFA. There was a competition that I was supposed to go to, and my dad said No, you’re not going, “I’m not supporting you”. I felt sick.

When I went to the hospital, I was there for four days. The doctor called my parents and told them something is wrong with me,  [and said] they should talk to me. My dad just understood that’s because of football. He came to the hospital and told me “Okay, I will let you play”

The 40-year-old is looking to lead her country into the knockout stages in successive editions.