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Post Super Six : Aisha Falode Scores A first of its Kind in Nigeria ; Records Double Sponsorship In The NWFL for the first Time

Chairperson of the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL), Ms. Aisha Falode after a successful organization of the 2022 Super Six says she was impressed and satisfied with the turning curve.

“I am very satisfied, happy, and impressed. The Super Six this year was a turning curve for us in the quality of play that we saw in the competition, eagerness, and fair play. The discipline that the girls and clubs demonstrated. We are satisfied that we have made a lot of progress. We have covered a lot of ground in the sense that the investment that we so much needed for us to really activate this season and the Super Six Cup final to be a model and an inspiring story for our young girls to play. To spread the gospel of football amongst our Secondary School girls and even those who are here now to let them know the opportunities that they have when they compete very well and when they are hungry for success. When they show discipline like they showed throughout this Super Six. We also must thank our former domestic players who sent their Goodwill messages via video. Messages of inspiration to our girls in the league. I am emotional right now.”

The league got double sponsorship for the season for the first time in her history.

For Aisha Falode, 2022 has been good for the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL).

She said: “The investment that we have been looking for the past four years, 2022 has been good to Nigeria Women Football League. In 2022, we had a season sponsor. It was a heavy load and a heavy burden financially for us to meet up with the commitment of indemnities for match officials though the season. But we had a sponsor who was able to take that off us. Just as we were looking for how to really finance the Super Six, we had another sponsor who not only demonstrated the fact that they are not a flash in the pan in their support for us. They have said that they wanted to see how well this tournament would turn around. Therefore, they will go back and see how they can give us like three-year contract for subsequent editions. It’s really an unbelievable story.

“Women’s sports all over the world are enjoying some kind of financial investment into it deliberately. Deliberate in the sense that we have the platform not only to compete as well as the men. We are not asking for equality but we are asking for equity. Equity in the sense that what we bring to the table should be returned to us. If we bring a performance to the table, the reward should the same. If we bring trophies to the table, the reward should be the same; the reward of inclusion. Inclusion in the governance of the sport, leadership, and table talk where critical issues of women’s football are discussed.”

Bayelsa Queens and Monday Gift stole the show at the 2022 NWFL Premiership Super Six with the Yenegoa-based side winning the title which qualified it for the zonal Qualifiers of the CAF Women’s Champions League.

“My major highlight was the spirit the girls demonstrated. They will to win and the will of putting in everything and fighting for their team. The team spirit that they demonstrated. The ability not to give up until the final whistle. That is the hallmark of true and quality players. Until the final whistle, the game is not over. We saw that in many games. Teams rough back and fought hard. They fought to score goals and didn’t give up. That is the quality that we want to see. There was no indiscipline displayed by our players. We must give kudos to the coaches. You can that a lot of the teams have transformed from the past years. What we saw last year is different from what we saw this year. I am sure that the growth and rise will continue. The graph will continue in terms of the quality that is on the bench and translated to the players
By the time we do the next season, I am sure that there will be more fights for those who didn’t win this year will win next year.

“Bayelsa Queens almost came last in Ijebu Ode and they went back to look at the team critically. They knew what needed to be done and came back to become Champions. We didn’t have Nasarawa Amazons in Ijebu Ode because they didn’t qualify but they were in the final of this year’s edition. They came second. That is what we want to see. The will to win, play, and give your all to the game, and the sky will just be as far as you see it (the horizon) and the wings as wide as you want to spread them.” Says Aisha Falode.

Monday Gift scored nine goals in five Super Six games and ended the season with a total number of 12 goals.

Aisha Falode said: “This was Monday Gift’s tournament. From the very first game through the last, she was consistent and enjoyed this tournament. When a player enjoys a tournament, you see the result. She thrived and flourished so much which brings us to the question of why was she not included in the over 30 women list that was drawn to go to WAFCON. I am sure the handlers of the national women’s team (Super Falcons) will take a look at Monday Gift again and see that this is the kind of player that we need for Nigeria to go and defend her title in Morocco and possibly bring the title back home. These are the quality that we want to see. Not only Monday Gift. She is no doubt a team player. She carried her team
We need such a player in our team. The players who can motivate the team. Players who can be the leaders and carry the team, pushing everybody to perform.

“In Nasarawa Amazons, we saw them. They didn’t give up until the last minute. They recovered and scored an equaliser and almost leveled up. I am so happy even talking about it. We have an abundance of talent in the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) and we just need more investment for us to compete with any League in the world.”

The astute football administrator concluded with a piece of advice to Bayelsa Queens ahead of the CAF Women’s Champions League.

“Bayelsa Queens as Champions has quality in it. This is a team that has discipline which is what you need mainly to compete at that level of the gathering of Champions. When you are going to the continent, you need a lot more. A lot more work needs to be done now to qualify from the zone and then go and represent Nigeria on the continent. They have more work in terms of exposing these girls to high-quality training tours. A lot more of telling them that it’s not easy to become a Champion. Now is the time for them to be focussed on the task ahead. They should go back to Yenegoa now and enjoy the feeling of being Champions for a few days. The Government should welcome them like they are as true Champions, celebrate them, ad give them one week break because the work for them starts now as there is no time to waste.”

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Oluchi Tobe-Chukwu

Oluchi Tobe-Chukwu popularly known as tobex is the Vice chairman of Sports writers Association of Nigeria , lagos Chapter. She Is also the Media Spokesperson of the Super Falcons of Nigeria. She is an award winning women's football writer. Tobex is also an ex footballer that was privileged to play in the first NFF organised women's league in 1990 as a player of Hamza Queens. Her last club as an active footballer was Ibom Angels as She paved way to further her education years ago. She is a Federal Government scholar , with a degree in Mass communication, a second degree in Public Relations and Advertising (Communication Studies). She is a Wife and Mother.

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