FIFA had written a letter to Nigeria over its stance on lesbianism in female football.The Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Sports and a former coordinator of the national female teams, Ayo Omidiran, said on Wednesday that lesbianism does not exist in Nigerian female football.
This is in reaction to the statements by the chairman of the Nigerian Women’s League, Dilichukwu Onyedinma, about the existence and the exclusion of lesbians from Nigeria’s female football teams.
Speaking exclusively to PREMIUM TIMES, Ms. Omidiran said throughout her regime as the coordinator of the Nigerian female teams, she never witnessed lesbianism.
“I ran a female football club for 10 years before it was rested, I travelled with female teams for tournaments and stayed with them in their hotel for over three weeks, I have never seen a lesbian.
“When I was in charge of women’s football development in Nigeria, people asked me about lesbianism and each time I was asked, I told them I have no idea… Lesbianism has never affected our football,” she said.
Taking a tone less discriminatory than Ms. Onyedinma’, Ms. Omidiran stated that female football is a preserve of any female who is skilled in the sport regardless of religious inclination.
“No matter who you are, you can play football. If it is football, it is not discriminatory, as long as you can play football, you’re welcome to play,” she said.
The Federation of International Football Association, FIFA, had cried foul over Ms. Onyedinma’s stance on non-tolerance for lesbians in female football.
The football governing body had reportedly written to the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, requesting clarification over statements by the Chairperson of Nigeria Women Professional League, Dilichukwu Onyedinma, about a planned ban of lesbians from the league.
While speaking about FIFA’s concerns, Ms. Omidiran said, “FIFA is not trying to punish Nigeria and cannot punish us at all. FIFA believe that football is a game for everyone regardless of whatever or whoever, anything that’s discriminating cannot come into football that is the decision of FIFA.
“Football is a game for everyone and if FIFA felt Nigeria is doing something against their rule they have to react,” Ms. Omidiran said.
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