Seyi Akinwunmi, president of the Lagos State Football Association, says that women's football is the next big thing that will take the world by storm.
Akinwunmi, who spoke to the Nigerian News Agency on the sidelines of the 2022 Sheroe Awards in Abuja, said women's football was on the rise, especially in Africa and Nigeria in particular.
“You see, for us to understand where we're going, we need to understand where we've come from.
“In fact, I had no doubts before the Flamingos left for the U-17 Women's World Cup that they were not going to come back empty-handed after a lot of hard work and preparation.
“In fact, they went and made us proud and people have now seen and recognized that the next big thing in the round leather game in the country is women's soccer.
“This is the message that we must try to push so that sponsors can come in and see the opportunities for growth.
“Thank God this is because of a very good performance in India and it was just that we couldn't make it to the final.
"So, we're proud that they got it right," he said.
The former First Vice President of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) praised Ratels Sports Development Foundation (RSDF), the organizers of the Sheroes Cup and Award for their efforts in the growth and development of women's football in the country.
“The Sheroes Cup is without doubt the biggest women's football tournament in West Africa.
“I had the privilege of watching some of the tournament matches, both offline and online, and I am very impressed with what they are doing to put African women's football on the map.
“Furthermore, honoring these deserving women through the Sheroes Award is commendable and a wake-up call to other private, multinational organizations and foundations to emulate what the RSDF is doing.
"Congratulations to the RSDF for the excellent work, resources and energy they have put into these projects and I urge them not to give up their efforts," he said.
Margaret Icheen, an NFF Executive Board Member who was among the honorees, said receiving the award and recognition was an encouragement to continue to do more for women's football.
“This is wonderful and quite encouraging as those who have been given awards have made history and when those people are recognized it actually serves as an example for the young people who are coming on board.
"I think events like this will really encourage them and encourage them to do more," said the former vice president of the Nigerian Women's Football League (NWFL).
RSDF chairman Paul Edeh said the award, which was in its third year, was the best ever, but added there was still room for improvement.
“For me, I have always believed that there is no point in venturing into any project that does not have a legacy or an enduring existence.
“This is why the Sheroes Award has entered its third edition this year.
“Certainly I won't beat my chest to say that this is the best, but I can't say that this is definitely the best when you compare it to the previous two editions.
“I assure you that we will continue to improve and as many women and individuals as organizations that continue to support the cause of women, we will catch and reward them.
“One thing that I think we were not able to achieve in this edition is in the area of the official benefits that are attached to the prizes that we had planned.
“But we trust to God that as we climb the ladder of time, we will attract strong organizations that will be able to support this award.
"When this is achieved, we will be able to award official benefits to reward individuals and organizations alike in subsequent editions," he said.
Edeh said his inspiration came first and foremost from God, adding that he was also driven by a passion to make an impact and a legacy in the lives of young women and children alike.
“I am completely dedicated to this project and mission and as God continues to provide the necessary resources, we will continue to improve on what we are doing.
“Slowly but surely, we will get to that point where everyone will come together and say this is our project,” he said.
reports that the list of awardees includes Tobi Amusan (Sheroe Woman of the Year 2022), Asisat Oshoala (Sheroe African Footballer), Monday Gift (Sheroe Women Football Rising Star), Orisakwe Nelly (Grassroot Coach of the Year), and Bankole Olowookere ( Sports Award Icon).
Others are; Betsy Obaseki, Edo State Governor's Wife (Sheroe Trailblazer), Akinwunmi (Most Outstanding Women's Soccer Development FA), Icheen (Lifetime Achievement Award), Tewogbade Oyewole (Women's Soccer Pioneer), and Nneka Onyali-Ikpe ( Sheroe's Visionary Leader Award) ).
The rest includes; Emmanuel Osahon (Sheroe Women's Soccer Talent Developer), Ayisat Aromire (Sheroe Girl Advocate), and Ruqayyah Adeboye (Sheroe Humanitarian Award).
===========Edited. eniola williams
Source Credit: NAN
Participating teams for the 2022 Sheroes Cup, a pre-season tournament, have started arriving in Abuja ahead of Thursday’s kick-off at the FIFA goal project, package B of Moshood Abiola National stadium, Abuja.
Chairman of the organising committee, Coach Haruna Ilerika, said in a statement on Wednesday that the tournament was designed for clubs in the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) and would hold between Nov. 4 and Nov. 13. The participating clubs are Adamawa Queens, Edo Queens, Confluence Queens, Delta Queens, heartland Queens, Nasarawa Amazons, Royal queens and Naija Ratels.
Ilerika said that four of the eight participating NWFL clubs arrived in Abuja on Wednesday afternoon ahead of kick-off date.
He said Edo Queens, Nasarawa Amazons, Confluence Queen and Naija Ratels were already in Abuja as logistics and technical arrangements for the tournament had been perfected.
According to Ilerika, the competition will be played in a round-robin format as the teams demanded to play more games to have enough playing time to assess their players.
“After the first stage, the first two teams will play in the final, while the third and fourth placed sides on the table will play the third-place match.
“This kind of tournament gives players the opportunity to gain exposure to national team and secure transfer to better their careers.
” Ilerika, who is also the Secretary of FCT Football Association (FA), said that adequate hotel arrangements had been made for the clubs.
He assured the clubs of good officiating, while describing bad refeering as one of the biggest challenges in football in the country because of “win at all cost syndrome”.
Ilerika further said; “Why will any team come for a pre-season tournament and want to desperately win?
“Who do you want to impress; instead of judiciously using the competition to assess your team, you are lobbying referees.
“I can assure the clubs that they will get fair officiating.
“I have discussed with the chairman of refereeing committee in the FCT, and I told him that if we find any referee wanting, technically or otherwise, we won’t waste time to sanction him or her because what we want is quality.
“We have a total number of 30 games to be played and there will be at least four matches everyday.
There will be seminar and award night.
” The fixtures for the tournament would see the teams play about 30 matches in all, with at least four matches everyday.
In the opening game, Adamawa Queens will battle Royal Queens by 8 a.
m. on Friday, while the game between Confluence Queens and Nasarawa Amazons will follow thereafter at 10 a.
m. Delta Queens will engage Naija Ratels same day by 2 p.
m., as the match between Edo and Heartland Queens takes place from 4 p.
m. Sheroes Cup transformed from Flying Officers Cup with the 2022 edition.
Domo Okara, coach of Bayelsa Queens Football Club, says failure to convert goalscoring opportunities cost them so much against Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies of South Africa on Monday.
The Nigerian side lost 1-2 to the South Africans at the Grande Stade de Marrakech in Morocco in their opening game at the ongoing 2022 CAF Women’s Champions League.
Okara, whose team scored in the last 10 minutes of the game, said his side would have claimed the maximum points if they had been clinical in front of goal.
The goal by substitute Mary-Magdalene Anjor was the first Mamelodi Sundowns, who were the competition’s defending champions, were conceding in the competition.
“We gave our best but it was not good enough,” Okara told the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday.
“The South African team are a good team.
Tactically, they are very sound.
“Though we threw away our chances in the first 20 minutes, but we should have wrapped up the game, maybe leading by two or three goals.
“But we failed to do so and that is football.
Football is a game of chance,” he said.
The coach however assured that his team, the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) Premiership champions, would come back stronger.
“What we are going to do next is to come back strong in the other two games, so that we can qualify from the group,” he said.
“We will ensure we get the maximum points from the next game.
” NAN reports that the team’s next game is against TP Mazembe Ladies of DR Congo on Thursday.
The Ratels Sports Development Foundation (RSDF) has announced a reward of N2.1 million to the country’s cadet female team, Flamingos, following their defeat of USA at the ongoing FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in India. The Flamingos defeated their U.S. counterparts 4-3 on penalties after playing 1-1 at full and extra time in the quarter-finals of the ongoing football fiesta on Friday. President of RSDF, Paul Edeh, who announced the donation on Friday while speaking to the team via phone call, said the reward was to boost the morale of the girls going into the semi-finals. “Beating USA and reaching the semi-final stage of a World Cup for the first time is a no mean feat. This is highly commendable and I implore the team to do more,” he said. Edeh who is also the proprietor of Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) side, Naija Ratels Football Club, Abuja, said the donation was also in support of efforts by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in developing female football in the country. It would be recalled that the foundation, with special focus on women and young people’s development, had motivated same Nigerian team with cash reward during their World Cup qualifier stages. Edeh, while commending the new NFF leadership led by Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau, urged the girls to do everything possible to reach the final and win the coveted trophy for the country. “We are so impressed with your performance and I know many Nigerians will still do well to appreciate you more. Just remain focused. “This is Nigeria’s first appearance in the semi-final of the competition and no African women team has ever attained such heights,” Edeh said. RSDF has now supported the team with a total of N3.8 million, including the N1.7 million splashed on them during the qualifiers and now the N2.1 million. The Foundation has in the meantime promised to increase the amount to N3 million when they make it to the final. NewsSourceCredit: NAN
Paul Edeh, Founder, Ratels Sports Development Foundation (RSDF), said on Wednesday that efforts had been intensified to develop female football in the country to an enviable height.
Edeh said this in Abuja at a news conference heralding the 2022 Flying Officers Cup which has now been renamed as Sheroes Cup. He said that the tournament organised by Ratels Sports would hold between Nov. 3 and Nov. 13 in Abuja.
“This is our usual preseason tournament for women’s teams across Nigeria which helps to prepare them for the commencement of the new league season every year,” he said.
According to Edeh, winners of the tournament will represent Nigeria at the African qualifier for the Women’s Intercontinental Cup scheduled to hold in August next year in U.
S., with six representatives of the continents participating He said: “For the past two seasons, we have been holding the pre-season tournament under the aegis of the Flying Officers Cup, but today, I’m here to announce that we are deviating.
“Henceforth, the pre-season tournament is no longer to be known as the Flying Officers Cup, but rather to be known as the Sheroes Cup. “Fundamentally, the reason for the name change is principally to give us the opportunity to celebrate more women who have achieved so much in their respective careers over the years.
“Women have continued to leave indelible mark in the annals of our society.
“Such women should be celebrated and celebrated well, that’s why moving forward, the name and the permanent name for the preseason tournament shall now be the Sheros Cup.” “The annual women’s football preseason tournament had its first edition in 2019 as the Naija Ratels preseason championship before it was rebranded as the Flying Officers Cup in the 2020 and 2021 editions,” he said.
Edeh explained that the African qualifier for the Intercontinental fiesta would hold before June 2023 in preparation for the main tournament in U.
S., in August.
“The winner that will represent Africa will have an all expenses paid trip to the U.
“This will improve female football in Nigeria and in Africa at large because this will be the first time that we will be having such traction since we started this tournament.
“And the format will see Nigerian Wome Football League (NWFL) engaging each other, while the Championship and Nationwide League teams with the top two teams from each classification qualifying to play in the semifinals and finals of the tournament.
“There will be no cash prize in this edition of the Sheroes Cup but rather, we’re going to give subsidy and support to each participating team.
“The idea is to remove that drive of win at all.
Bayelsa Queens FC will on Friday in Morocco determine their group opponents in the 2022 CAF Women’s Champions League.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) in a statement posted on its official website, cafonline.
com, on Thursday, said the draw would hold at the Mohammed VI Technical Centre, Rabat, Morocco.
“The official draw for the TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League 2022 will take place on Friday, 09 September 2022 at Mohammed VI Technical Centre in Rabat, Morocco.
“The draw will be conducted at 11h30 local time,” it said.
Eight teams, including 2022 NWFL champions, Bayelsa Queens will take part in the draw for the tournament.
“Eight teams will participate in the tournament scheduled from 31 October 2022 to 13 November 2022 in Morocco, a country which hosted the successful TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations last July. “The participating teams to the TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League have responded to the new CAF Club Licensing criteria and they represent all the six zonal unions.
“To complete the number of participants, UNIFFAC representative will be revealed after the conclusion of the zonal tournament set to take place from 10 to 16 September 2022 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea,” CAF said.
The teams to participate in the tournament include: Bayelsa Queens (Nigeria), Green Buffaloes (Zambia), Determine Girls FC (Liberia) and Simba Queens FC (Tanzania).
Others are: defending champions, Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa), Wadi Degla (Egypt) and AS FAR (Morocco).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Bayelsa Queens qualified for the competition after winning the WAFU B Women’s Champions League in Yamoussoukro, Cote d’Ivoire.
The Nigerian team defeated Ampem Darkoa Ladies of Ghana 3-0 in the final of the regional competition.
Bayelsa Queens Football Club of Yenagoa have booked a place at the 2022 CAF Women’s Champions League in Morocco in October.
The Nigerian clubside beat Ghana’s Ampem Darkoa Ladies 3-0 in the final of the WAFU Zone B qualifiers at Yamoussoukro in Côte d’Ivoire on Saturday evening to qualify.
Three goals in the first half from Miracle Joseph, Flourish Sabastine and Chinyere Igbomalu were all Bayelsa Queens needed to emerge winners.
Joseph in the 11th minute scored from the penalty kick spot after a foul on Sabastine by Anesthesia Achaa.
Eight minutes later, Sabastine who was later voted player of the match scored the second goal with a volley from the left side.
With three minutes left to play in the first half, Chinyere Igbomalu got the third goal with a header from a throw-in by Glory Edet to end the first half 3-0. On resumption of the second half, Ampem Darkoa Ladies coach, Nana Joe, made four changes.
This turned the game around, with the Ghanaians putting pressure on the Nigerian team and completely dominating play.
In the 77th minute, Ampem Darkoa Ladies had a glorious opportunity to reduce the deficit, but for the brilliance of Ange Bawou Gabrielle in goal for the Nigerian side.
Bayelsa Queens, who won the 20212022 Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) Premiership, are the second Nigerian team that will participate in the CAF Women’s Champions League qualifiers.
Rivers Angels featured in the maiden edition in 2021 but failed to qualify for the finals in Egypt.
The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the second edition of the Betsey Obaseki Women Football Tournament on Wednesday announced a “sumptuous” cash prize of N5 million for winners. The BoT’s Vice Chairman and Deputy Governor of Edo, Mr Philip Shaibu, announced the cash prize at a news conference on Wednesday in Benin. Shaibu said the invitional event had been scheduled to hold between Sept. 7 and 17 in Benin. He said the tournament would feature 10 clubs in the Nigerian Women Football League (NWFL) Premiership and two other local clubs in the state. The 10 premier league clubs include Bayelsa Queens, Edo Queens, Nasarawa Amazons, Delta Queens, Confluence Queens and Osun Babes. Others are Rivers Angels, Sunshine Queens, Naija Ratels and Royals Queens, while Fortress Ladies FC and Brave Heart FC will join as local best to make a list of 12 teams. The BoT which announced the cash prize for the winners, said the winner would pocket N3 million while second and third runners up would go home with N1.5 million and N750,000 respectively. Shaibu added, however, that other participating teams would get N500,000 each as a consolation prize. According to Shaibu, matches will hold across four centres namely, Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, University of Benin Sports Complex and two state-owned mini stadia at the School of Health Technology and Western Boys Secondary School, both in Benin. The deputy governor explained that while the draw for the competition had been scheduled for Aug. 24, the 36 states governors’ wives were expected to grace the closing ceremony. He said the event had come to stay as a pre-season event for women professional football clubs in the country, with the organiser of the league assenting to it. “This year’s event is going to be interesting. The theme for the 2021 event was used to promote girl child education; this year’s theme will be to campaign against illicit drugs and human trafficking. “The implication is that the event has come to stay in Nigeria. Thanks to the state governor’s wife, Mrs Obaseki, for keeping touch to make it an annual and pre-season event for women football premiership. “We also thank the state Sports Commission for accommodating it in its calendar despite being driven by the private sector. “To institutionalise it, we now have a Board of Trustees for the tournament, in which the First Lady (governor’s wife) is the chairman and I am the vice-chairman; this is to ensure that the event outlives this government,” he said. The deputy governor, who was assisted at the briefing by other members of the board, said the outstanding performances of Nigerian women at the Commonwealth Games had justified the renewed investment in women sporting events. NewsSourceCredit: NAN
Delta Queens FC boss Henrietta Ehiabor has emerged the chairperson of Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) club owners association after defeating the incumbent, Matilda Otuene, in an election in Lagos.
A statement from the association’s secretariat on Friday stated that Ehiabor polled 16 votes to defeat Otuene of Rivers Angels who garnered 10 votes at the end of the contest.
The incumbent Vice-Chairman Emmanuel Osahon of FC Robo Queens also lost his reelection bid to the Team Manager of Adamawa Queens Aminu Muhammed who got 14 votes as Osahon lost after securing 12 votes.
The position of secretary went to Dream Star FC owner Abolore Abdulrahman who secured 17 votes to defeat Osun Babes FC Team Manager, Tope Akinbade, who got nine votes.
The positions of the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Financial Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Secretary were unopposed as the candidates were unanimously elected by the 26 NWFL club owners who were in attendance at the election.
Pelican Stars owner Sam Kombo, however, was absent at the election.
Ehiabor in her acceptance speech said she would work for the benefit of the club owners and the growth of the league in collaboration with the board of the NWFL.
“My Dear Club owners, as your new chairperson, I want to assure you that we will always speak with one voice, and together we will change the narrative in women’s football.
“At the end of my two years tenure, please judge me by the following promises I am making to you all today.
“The interest of our great association will come first over and above my personal interest or that of my club.
“I will work towards consolidating on the gains of my predecessors.
I will run an all-inclusive executive and ensure that I am guided by the constitution of our association which is supreme.
“I will also ensure the independence of this association, free from any external interference as I also focus on uniting our members to guarantee peace.
I will also operate a financially-accountable executive.
“I will create a conducive atmosphere which will guarantee an improved relationship between club owners and the NWFL board and Secretariat,” Ehiabor said.
The newly-elected secretary, Abdulrahmam, also gave the assurance to work with other club owners as well as NWFL leadership to promote the leagues.
Dilichukwu Onyedinma, has urged the managers of female football in the country to focus on 2023 World Cup and forget Nigeria’s loss to Morocco at ongoing Women African Cup of Nations (WAFCON).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Super Falcons lost to their Moroccan counterparts 4-5 on penalties after a 1-1 score line in regulation and extra time, in the semi-finals of the ongoing WAFCON in Morocco.
The women’s world cup is to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand between July 20 and Aug.
Onyedinma who was also a former FCT Director of Sports said told NAN on Wednesday the team did their best but were unlucky to see off the North African ladies.
“The girls did their best but it was not good enough.
I was not happy with the two red cards received by our players, it was unprofessional,” said former Chairperson, Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL).
According to the former executive member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) domestic women football in country needs lots of improvement.
She said it was unfortunate that the gains made in the past to develop female football in the country could be completely were being eroded and urged urgent action to reverse the trend.
Onyedinma, under whose watch as board chairperson, the NWFL set up women league among other achievements wondered why the present leadership would was not doing enough to develop women football in the country.
“Where do I start from, where’s women domestic football development today?
Everything is collapsing because one person is running the show.
“No new grassroots players have been discovered in past five years or so, unlike what obtained when we were there.
“I hear that the present mangers even struggle to call congress annually; NWFL is now managed as if it is a state league.
“Throughout the time I chaired, there was a properly constituted board, congresses were held as at when due and in different states without any hindrance.
“There is no way an individual’s action can be compared to that of a board.
How can one person take decisions alone for a league,” Onyedinma said.
Onyedinma further said; “During our time, we didn’t have to run cap-in-hand to NFF begging for funds.
“The board which was adequately constituted through an election always sourced funds to carry out our programmes adequately.
“As a board, we rendered detailed account of everything we did, the documented copies are there for all to see.
“These days, there are claims of sponsorship agreements with no details for the clubs to see.” It would be recalled that the current NWFL leadership was appointed by the NFF to run the affairs of the league without any board election.