By Iduozee Paul, Benin
The chairperson, Nigeria Women Football League, (NWFL), Aisha Falode has lamented the low registration of amateur football clubs in Nigeria.
She made the observation at the 2019/2020 NWFL AGM congress in Benin City, where she said Edo State is fast becoming the home of modern women’s football in Nigeria.
“We were in Benin City for our first NWPL Super 4 a few years ago. In 2019, Edo accommodated us for the NWFL Pro-League and Amateur League. Today, we are back for our AGM/ Congress in 2020.
“This is a reflection of the fact that Edo State is fast becoming the home of modern women’s football in Nigeria. Let me also say that, Edo Queens is the only club in Nigeria, and indeed the world, that is enjoying pay parity with their male counterparts, Edo Insurance. This is a milestone, and a record setting achievement that should be emulated by other women club owners in Nigeria, a country where we have over 50 amateur women football clubs spread all over Nigeria.”
She stressed the need for more female clubs to be registered.
“It was difficult to have just five teams registered for the league. We want to encourage amateur clubs across the country to brace up to the responsibility of running their clubs under a regulated league board, as the NWFL,” Falode said.
She added, “This year 2020 is a very vital year for the NWFL, as we will be rolling out our strategic plan with the aim to evolve the league into the mainstream as a viable league brand of international reputed.
“The timing for this year 2020 makes it thirty years of women league football in Nigeria. We take bold and international steps towards the achieving the NWFL, we all can proud of.This is 30 years anniversary of the women league football in Nigeria, and Africa is a major milestone that is worthy of celebration. We have highlighted various programs and projects towards making this the turning point in women league football in Nigeria, and Africa.”
In his goodwill message the representative of the NFF, Emmanuel Ibah, said the body will encourage proper sponsorship of the women league, and continue to add its inputs to make the league successful. Ibah said the NWFL should be able to have a rotational league competition among the states in Nigeria.
Declaring the NWFL event open, the deputy governor of Edo State, Comrade Philips Shuiabu, begged the National Assembly to enshrine in the expected amended constitution that at least 10 per cent of the national budget should be earmarked for sports activities in Nigeria
He said that would help reduce the high rate of insecurity, unemployment, kidnapping and all other social vices in the country, as he appealed to all stakeholders in the country to support the minister of Sports, Sunday Dare to develop sports in the nation.
Shuiabu said for very good 11 years, Edo Queens had maintained high professional football standard and stressed that women league football in Edo is going to be given special attention.
The deputy governor said the female club enjoys equal salaries, allowances and loans with its male counterparts because they have performed and played well.