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Ordega and Banda absent as Shanghai resume training

The Nigerian and Zambian missed training with their teammates after two months of inactivity in China

Nigeria‘s Francisca Ordega and Zambia’s Barbra Banda were absent as their Chinese Women’s Super League club resumed training for the first time this week.

The African pair were part of Shanghai’s preseason tour in Lisbon, Portugal where they spend almost a month before departing back to their various bases during the coronavirus break in March.

Ordega joined the CWSL outfit in 2019, and was in superb form, scoring seven goals to help Shanghai to finish as runners-up last season.

The 2018 African Women’s Player of the Year nominee has been at her home country in Benue state since the Covid-19 outbreak.

On Banda’s part, the Zambia international sealed her move to the Chinese outfit from Logrono last February after scoring 15 goals in 28 games during her 20-month spell with the Spanish club.

The 20-year-old, who inspired Zambia to a historic Olympic Games qualification in March after a triumph over Cameroon, has been in Lusaka, the Zambia capital, since she left camp in Portugal.
Chinese authorities permitted clubs to resume training for the first time after the restrictions were eased mid-May but the ban on foreigners’ entry into China halts Ordega and Banda’s travel hopes.

As teams resume full training activities, Shanghai becomes the latest club to hit the pitch without Africans after Guangdong, Changchun, Jiangsu Suning, Henan and Wuhan.

In a recent Instagram interview, the Super Falcons star had expressed her frustration over her inability to return to her club as a result of the global health crisis. 

“I was on duty with my teammate outside Shanghai, the team manager told us [foreigners] not to go back to China with the team because of the coronavirus outbreak,” Ordega told the NFF.

“He said to go back home until everything dies down. We never thought things will get out of hands. I headed back home to Nigeria but always get updated with the situation of things in China.

“I was in America to renew my passport when I got the call from my team that things are getting better and we are to report back to China. I planned to fly from America to China but the authority banned movement to China.

“The only option is to enter through other countries that are yet to restrict movement to China. I booked a flight for Ethiopia and planned to go through Ethiopia.

“Surprisingly, the day I landed was the day their government laid an embargo on flights to China. I headed back to Nigeria, called my club to let them know what’s going on.”

Ordega and Banda are part of the Africans yet to return to China after Ghana‘s Elizabeth Addo, Nigeria’s duo of Onome Ebi and Chiwendu Ihezuo.

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