By Femi Atolagbe
The Chairperson of the Nigeria Women’s Football League (NWFL), Mrs Nkechi Obi has described female football as a catalyst for women development.
She added that Women Football is thriving in Nigeria with the outcome of the just concluded Women Word Cup co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia.
Obi in company of one of the board members, Alhaja Segilola Alaya stated this during her familiarisation visit to Ondo State to sell the ideas and objectives of the newly Inaugurated NWFL board.
She added that it’s pertinent to take the agenda of the board to the prospective sponsors of the women league, saying “We can’t just be sitting down in Abuja without taking the “Women Football Rising” agenda of the board to the people that will help us.
Other development plans of the NWFL board includes: Sisterhood initiative and HE for She campaign.
She said: “Women Football is not only rising but getting attention, the only mistake we made was that we didn’t leverage on the attention gained from the last women world cup to apply such into our clubs, league and our football development”.
“FiFA has told us to grow our league and we are working assiduously to ensure we meet up with the challenges by working to increase the numbers of participating clubs that will play in the 2023/24 season from the initial 14 teams.
“We are restructuring the structure of the NWFL to accommodate more teams at the both elite league and the championship.”
“The championship which is the 2nd division of the league will also be increased to 20 clubs which means an addition of 8 more clubs to the league.”
“NWFL will be coming up with a program called “Class To Pitch ” program, in conjunction with the sports business institute with the aim for capacity development for clubs and Female coaches, between 18 and 35 years as well as a Referee program for interested ladies including Player development program.”
“Media officers will be trained as part of the plan to improve the league’s capacity.”
Most of these plans will be unveiled at the AGM and we appealed for more support from the commissioner as the chief custodian of Sunshine Queens FC , who is one of the few states that house the NWFL side and we pleaded with him to key into the development plan and also support the development plan the board will roll out.
In his response, Ondo State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Bamidele Ologunloluwa affirmed the continued support of the state for women football.
He added that the current government is a Gender balance administration, saying they have been supporting the state’s owned female team, Sunshine Queens just like their male counterparts.
“We are ready to support them at all levels of football”, he assured.