Last week, NFF 1st Vice President, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi was a guest on a programme of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Oyo State chapter, called ‘Hot Seat’.
During his interaction with members of the press, he fielded questions on a wide range of issues in Nigerian football, including women’s football. In the course of answering those questions, and in response to a specific question, NFF 1st Vice President touched briefly on the issue of lesbianism in Nigerian women’s football and its effect on fund-raising efforts for the game.
However, Barrister Akinwunmi is shocked at the mischievous and uncharitable version of the interview that he has come across in a few news reports. He wishes to clarify as follows:
“I noted that one of the problems we have encountered in trying to raise funds for the women’s game, is the perception of lesbianism therein, as many of our potential sponsors have shied away from supporting the women’s game because of the misconception that it is synonymous with lesbianism. These potential sponsors have decided to err on the side of caution and have opted to stay away from supporting our female teams rather than be caught up in this maelstrom. Unfortunately, a few other persons have also taken advantage of this misconception to cause division and disaffection in some of our female teams, thereby stunting their growth.
“I informed the pressmen gathered there that the NFF, of which I am the Vice-President, is sparing no effort to correct this erroneous perception and to spur the growth and development of the women’s game, that we strongly believe that there are still potential sponsors out there who will lend their support to help us develop our female teams because of the glory that these girls have brought to this country and their enormous potential to do even more.
“Finally, I noted that we see it as our duty to continue to promote the women’s game to attract the sponsors/supporters that will take this key area of our sport to the heights it should attain and that the Lagos State FA had indeed last month dedicated the second half of 2016 to the growth of Women Football.”
Ka’oje, NRA, Bewarang, All-Stars eulogize Keshi, Amodu
Former Minister of Sports, Hon. Bala Bawa Ka’oje, the Nigeria Referees Association, the President of Nigeria Football Coaches Association and the All-Stars Football Club of Abuja are among those who commiserated with the NFF on Tuesday over the passing of coaching legends Stephen Keshi and Shuaibu Amodu.
Ka’oje, who was received by NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi and other Management staff, wrote in the condolence register: “We have witnessed the loss of yet another gentleman who loves football, the nation and the youth of Nigeria. He has served the nation to the best of his ability and deserves to be immortalized and his family catered for by the Government.”
The NRA, in a letter signed by its president Tade Azeez, wrote: “Keshi was undoubtedly one of the finest coaches, having won the Africa Cup of Nations both as a player and as a coach. He will be remembered for his immense contributions to the development of football in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large.
“Coach Amodu dedicated his life to finding and grooming some of Nigeria’s best soccer talents and providing them the leadership and guidance that enabled them to excel.”
Bewarang, who sounded downcast on the phone, said: “It is a very dark period for Nigeria football. We pray to God to stop these tragedies. Keshi and Amodu were still young, agile and able. To lose them that way is very, very painful. ”
The All-Stars, led by its president Abdulrazak Dokunmu, were also received at the Glass House by Sanusi, and wrote: “Coach Amodu has left a big void in the football family that will be difficult to fill; we have lost a thoroughbred coach.
“The death of Stephen Keshi is not only a great loss to the Federation, but also a big loss to the entire football family in Nigeria and the world over. Coach Stephen Keshi was a man of honour whose sound knowledge of the game of soccer and his doggedness in leadership would always be remembered.”
Federation Cup: Enyimba, El-Kanemi tie postponed
CAF Champions League contenders, Enyimba FC, have appealed to the Nigeria Football Federation to move their Federation Cup Round of 32 clash against fellow NPFL side El-Kanemi Warriors as a result of their continental date against Zamalek of Egypt in Port Harcourt on Sunday.
The People’s Elephant, winners of Africa’s most prestigious club competition in 2003 and 2004, host the White Tribe at the Adokiye Amiesiamaka Stadium in one of the Day 1 matches of the group stage of this year’s competition.
“Enyimba has appealed for postponement of the encounter, and the NFF has granted this plea. They are flying Nigeria’s flag and the NFF has promised to give them all the support in their quest for glory,” Emmanuel Adesanya, Head of Federation Cup, told thenff.com.
However, the remaining 15 matches of the men’s competition and eight matches of the women’s competition will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, with Abuja, Makurdi, Enugu and Lokoja hosting three matches each.
The encounter between Plateau United and Dreams FC of Makurdi, earlier slated for Damaturu, has been moved to Abuja, while the Crown FC/Niger Tornadoes clash will now take place in Benin City instead of Akure.
With the Enyimba/El-Kanemi tie postponed, the match between FC IfeanyiUbah and Lobi Stars at UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar is the only all-NPFL game this week.
Eleven matches of the men’s competition and three matches of the women’s competition will take place on Wednesday, with high –riding Rivers United up against Kaduna United in Makurdi, Enugu Rangers against ABS FC in Bauchi, Shooting Stars testing Almar FC in Agege (Lagos), Kano Pillars up against Prime FC in Lokoja.
The women’s competition is in the Round of 16, and Cup holders Sunshine Queens battle Osun Babes in Ibadan, Delta Queens take on Ibom Angels at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri and Katsina Queens tackle Gift of Life FC in Abuja
MEN’S ROUND OF 32
Akwa United Vs Kwara United – Makurdi – 16/6 – 4pm
Sunshine Stars Vs Abia Comets – Oleh – 15/6 – 4pm
Dynamite FC Vs Flash Flamingoes – Abuja – 16/6 – 4pm
Nasarawa United Vs Go Round FC – Enugu – 15/6 – 4pm
Rivers United Vs Kaduna United – Makurdi – 15/6 – 4pm
Shooting Stars Vs Almar FC – Agege – 15/6 – 4pm
Top World FC Vs J. Atete FC – Enugu – 16/6 – 4pm
Crown FC Vs Niger Tornadoes – Benin – 15/6 – 4pm
ABS FC Vs Enugu Rangers – Bauchi – 15/6 – 4pm
Kogi United Vs Wikki Tourists – Kaduna – 15/6 – 4pm
Dreams FC Vs Plateau United – Abuja – 15/6 – 4pm
Kano Pillars Vs Prime FC – Lokoja – 15/6 – 4pm
Warri Wolves Vs Jigawa Stars – Ilorin – 15/6 – 4pm
MFM FC Vs Katsina United – Lokoja – 16/6 – 4pm
FC IfeanyiUbah Vs Lobi Stars – Calabar – 15/6 – 4pm
WOMEN’S ROUND OF 16
Sunshine Queens Vs Osun Babes – Ibadan – 15/6 – 4pm
Capital City Doves Vs Rivers Angels – Makurdi – 16/6 – 2pm
Mosco Queens Vs Nasarawa Amazons – Ilorin – 14/6 – 4pm
Abia Angels Vs Confluence Queens – Enugu – 16/6 – 4pm
Ibom Angels Vs Delta Queens – Owerri – 15/6 – 4pm
Gift of Life Vs Katsina Queens – Abuja – 16/6 – 2pm
COD United Vs Pelican Stars – Lokoja – 16/6 – 2pm
Martin White Doves Vs Bayelsa Queens – Nnewi – 15/6 – 4pm
David excited over FIFA leadership course
NFF’s Head of Women Football, Ruth David, has expressed joy at being among the 35 participants of FIFA’s Female Leadership Development Programme that began at The Home of FIFA, Zurich last week.
The soft –spoken David told thenff.com that she felt fulfilled meeting world football’s top figures like FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Secretary General Fatma Samoura, and being part of a course aimed at identifying, supporting and developing strong female leaders in football, as well as providing opportunities for women to access senior decision –making positions in the game.
“I am very happy to be part of this programme. It consists of three modules to last nine months. I was given an Accelerator project to work on, like the other participants, and each of us has a mentor and a coach.
“My project is on ‘Education for Character Moulding and Career Enhancement among Female Football Players in Nigeria’, and this has already received the endorsement of the coordinators.”
David said the first module focused on making the participants better leaders, the virtues of discipline and humility, importance of team work, self confidence and how to face challenges on the job.
The FLDP is part of FIFA’s portfolio of women’s football development programmes for the period 2015-2018. Launched in 2015 to ensure that there are female role models and women at decision –making levels in football, the FLDP aims to identify, support and develop strong female leaders in sport, while advocating for women to access senior decision –making positions globally.