Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg will not be at the World Cup this summer after she pulled out of Norway’s squad for the tournament in France.

The Grasshoppers will be without the Ballon d’Or winner when they come up against the African Champions on June 8.

The Lyon striker’s absence for the tournament in France this summer comes as great relief to the Falcons who are housed in the same group as the Norwegians, South Korea and hosts France in Group A. It will be recalled that the Norwegian has refused to play for the national side since 2017.

Hegerberg is taking a stand over a perceived lack of respect for female players and has not represented her country since 2017. Hegerberg was infamously asked to twerk by French DJ Martin Solveig after she was presented with the Ballon d’Or in December.

Norway is scheduled to play Cameroon in a friendly in France on June 2 to gather knowledge of what playing an African side feels like before facing the Super Falcons six days later.

Regardless of the absence of the best player in world football being a major talking point in Norway,even overshadowing the squad announcement, the Coach doesn’t seem perturbed by it.

“There are no big surprises and players we know well. We have worked with a core troupe from the European Championships until now, and I think we have a well-balanced squad. There are some championship debutants and some established.” Sjogren told the media at Telenor on Thursday.

“It is also exciting with the younger ones coming from the U23 national team, who have done well and now established themselves in our squad. There are some positions we have been thinking about, but we have landed this in the end. I think it’s a well-composed squad. I am very pleased with the preparations for this championship and feel we are well prepared.” Sjogren added

Norway and Nigeria have met twice before previously, with the European giants winning on both occasions.

The Super Falcons suffered an 8-0 humiliation to the Grasshoppers at the 1995 Women’s World Cup in Sweden before bowing to a 3-1 defeat at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

This summer, Nigeria will be hoping to avoid a repeat when they take on the former champions at Stade Auguste-Delaune.
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