In this exclusive interview, Aisha Falode, President of the Nigeria Women’s Football League (NWFL), answered questions from Africa Foot United’s Joseph Odoekwu on the upcoming NFF elections and the future of women’s football. She is optimistic about the possibility of improvement, and also noted that she has what it takes, if elected as a member of the board, to take women’s football to a higher level that will allow young people girls to find solace in football.
You are going to run for the first time for an elected position in the NFF on your own land (Edo State). What do you think of this situation and what are your expectations?
First of all, let me start by congratulating all the candidates who are involved in the process of contesting the September 30 election for a new NFF Executive Committee. Benin-City, Edo State, like Katsina State or Warri before it was adopted at the last AGM of the NFF as the venue for this election, is the home of every Nigerian as much as it is my home. I am confident that we will have safe, free, fair, transparent and credible elections in Benin City, Edo State. It is also important to state that all participants are essential players and members of a footballing family and house with a long history of footballing brotherhood and with a common interest in contributing to the common good of the game.
I have worked very hard over the years, building my profile in the football community for a day like this, and I believe, without wishing to sound pretentious, that my years of good football work should count for a positive result in this election. Let me acknowledge that all the other candidates also deserve to have their names on the ballot and I wish them well.
Some Nigerians see women’s football as a source of joy for the future due to the Falcons’ past achievements. Do you also see in this direction and, if so, what hopes and aspirations do you intend to give if you emerge in the next NFF elections to make this dream come true?
Women’s football is not only a source of joy for Nigerians based on several achievements of the Super Falcons, it has become a critical vanguard of empowerment, friendship, education and a platform. -honourable shape for our young girls to find their place and space in the world to pursue their dream, career and passion which in turn prepares them for career purpose and fulfillment for life…A Again, we need to keep the momentum going, consolidate the gains, and set new targets and goals for the continued growth and development of the game for our young girls. The scope of the competition, the funding, the investment in the game as an asset are the new frontiers worth exploring.
The value of women’s football is undervalued and misunderstood. This is not to ignore or minimize the fact that tremendous strides have been made over the past eight years, particularly through the leadership and members of the outgoing executive who have supported more programs and opportunities for women’s football to thrive. I will not only consolidate the momentum of the new global vision of women’s game strategies, but explore new strategies to seize the initiative to cross new frontiers that will galvanize corporate interest in participation and participation. investment in the game. I will ensure that the achievements of the past eight years are not only consolidated, but that new avenues and windows are explored to take these achievements to the highest level.
Issues of transparency and accountability have plagued the majority of players in Nigerian football. What is your view on this or is it not a concern for you?
Of course, that worries me. Issues of transparency and accountability are never settled or exhaustive. The important thing is to institute processes and procedures that are open, transparent and that inspire trust in the institution by those on whose behalf you are mandated. We must continue to push and rely on a sustainable organization that will build public confidence in our football. Accountability and transparency are key metrics for a successful business or association. Any responsive and responsible organization should commit to accountability and transparency.
Project yourself and Nigeria on women’s football in the next 10 years. What would you do and what would the achievements look like in Nigeria?
Women’s football in Nigeria is an ongoing project. A lot of ground has been covered and progress has been made, no doubt, but there are still many areas to cover and plenty of room for development and growth. As pioneers of women’s football on our great continent, we know where the challenges are and have an idea of the remedies. We know where it hurts and we have noted what needs to be done to apply fairness to women’s football as a new direction for acceptance and appreciation of the global good and the value of our contribution. At the sports. We will push for more openness, sustainability, investment, funding, visibility and dynamism.
We should also create more competitions for our young girls across Africa and encourage Member Associations to set aside funds dedicated to expanding participation in new competitions. We are pushing for women’s football that will rival other leagues in the world and look forward to that day. Africa will not only host the FIFA Women’s World Cup, but it will win the World Cup.
Do you see Nigeria winning the FIFA Women’s World Cup which will be held in Australia and New Zealand next year?
All teams qualified for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand are already champions, only one will ultimately be crowned. Africa and indeed Nigeria have the qualities to represent our continent. I am particularly impressed with the early preparations we have started with the Super Falcons in the friendlies they have played so far. The dynamic of friendly matches must be maintained until the World Cup if we want to obtain results. The motivation of the team, the thirst for goals, the self-confidence and the will to win must be the source of success on the field.
If the Super Falcons can play in the USA 99 World Cup quarter-final and narrowly missed out on the semi-final, that means playing the final in Australia and New Zealand is achievable. Impossibility is nothing in the game of football. We saw the ability and the disappointment of the team at the Women’s AFCON in Morocco and the lessons from that, if well received, noted and acted upon, will give us a huge leap forward towards a podium finish at the Cup. of the world.
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