The board of the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) headed by Aisha Falode at the weekend came out strongly to make a case for the league board to be given a percentage of the FIFA largesse to Nigerian clubs whose players were paraded at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
NWFL Chief Operating Officer, Alhaji Ayo Abdulrahman, said at the weekend from his base in Abuja, that, what the world football governing body, FIFA and the Nigeria Football Federation should understand is that, without the women league board, the clubs cannot play in any organised league. And it is from management of the league that all the players who made the Nigerian team to the France 2019 were discovered and nurtured to become world-class players.
“There is no player on the Super Falcons team to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France that didn’t play in the NWFL league at one time or the other.
“The NWFL deserves due recognition and if anything should come as incentives to the clubs, the NWFL should not be left out.”
Abdulrahman noted that, the NWFL had continued to organise standard league in the Premier Division, pro league and lately the Amateur League, without any form of sponsorship in the last 14 years.
“Despite the lack of sponsorship,, the league has been getting better every year with the effective organisation of the NWFL board. The board has been working assiduously to ensure the best league standard for the clubs in the three tiers.
“Don’t also forget that, the NWFL has been helping Nigeria present three national women’s soccer teams: the Super Falcons, the Super Falconets U-20 and the Flamengoes U-17, and all the three categories have been representing the country well much that, the Super Falcons are the best in the African continent and also a force to reckon with at the world level. The Falconets today are the third most successful national team in the world after playing in two U-20 World Cup finals and participating in all editions of the mundial since inception at Canada 2002. The Flamengoes are also no push overs in world football, all to the contributions of the Nigeria Women Football League board.
“The NWFL should not be left out of the FIFA largesse for sake of fairness.
“The increased standard of the NWFL league has heightened the chances of the Nigeria national teams to record success in international competitions.
“I recall the insistence of the NWFL Chairperson, Aisha Falode, to the Super Falcons’ chief coach to the 2018 AWCON and France 2019 FIFA World Cup, Thomas Dennerby. This increased the number of homegrown players in the team. This gave great opportunities to the likes of Chiamaka Nnadozie, Amarachi Okonronkwo, Rashidat Ajibade, Chidima Okeke, Tochukwu Oluehi, Anam Imo, Alaba Jonathan, Alice Ogebe and Cecilia Nku.
“All these players together with their foreign based teammates who also at some points left for clubs in Europe from the NWFL, did Nigeria proud.
“The Falcons armed with these home based players finished third in the 2017 WAFU Cup and later won the gold in the next edition in 2019.
This team emerged champions again at the African Women Cup of Nations in Ghana, and gave a good account of themselves at the France 2019 FIFA World Cup. Goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie was voted the best at the mundial.
“After the France 2019 World Cup, a lot of these players were signed by European clubs where they are playing first team football today.”
It was gathered that a total of 20 Nigerian women clubs will benefit from a FIFA windfall. The world football governing body, FIFA pays an amount to clubs whose players are enlisted in the final squad of participating nations at both the men’s and women’s FIFA World Cup finals. That of the FIFA Women’s World Cup only started last year – the eighth edition of the competition.
The compensation payment was wide –ranging, with all the clubs that the players had featured for since the age of 12 benefitting. The windfall was huge for Nigeria women football clubs as all the 23 players on Nigeria’s final roster had either featured for clubs in the country before going abroad or are still on home team rosters.
A breakdown of the payments showed that Port Harcourt –based Rivers Angels – arguably the leading women’s club in the country – topped with a benefit in the sum of $45,500, with Nasarawa Amazons of Lafia in a distant second with the sum of $27,534, while Bayelsa Queens ran close behind with $27,103. FC Robo Queens of Lagos came fourth with $25,810.
Delta Queens of Asaba got the sum of $15,081, with the sum of $10,341 going to Coal City Babes and $7,756 going to Invincible Angels. Sao Paulo Queens smiled to the bank with $6,032.
In total, FIFA paid Nigeria clubs the sum of $194,031.57.
A number of the clubs are yet to receive the monies because they do not have domiciliary accounts, but the NFF has insisted they open one to receive their payment.
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