Umuahia – Defending champions, Rivers Angels, on Thursday in Umuahia emerged the winners of the Super Six Competition, organised by the Nigerian Women Football League (NWFL).
In her address at the end the final match between the champions and Bayelsa Queens, wife of Abia governor Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu, called on the Confederation of African Football to introduce Women Champions League.
Ikpeazu, who was represented by the wife of the deputy governor, Mrs Vivian Oko-Chukwu, said that the initiative would help to grow the game and also ‘’give our girls international exposure.’’
She called on sports enthusiasts and philanthropists to support female football, saying the government could not do it alone.
“Female football is on the rise globally and Nigeria needs to key into it and get the benefit for our young women,’’ she said.
The governor’s wife said that Abia government accepted to host the tournament in spite of the short notice given to it ‘’because we value and enjoy the game of soccer.
“Abia can boldly be called the home of football in Nigeria,’’ she said, pointing out that the state has four teams playing in the nation’s league.
She listed the teams to include Enyimba International FC of Aba, Abia Warriors FC, Abia Comet and Abia Angels.
Ikpeazu promised that the government would encourage Abia Angels to get to the height of female soccer in Nigeria.
In her speech, the Chairman of NWFL, Mrs Dilichukwu Onyedinma, thanked the state for hosting the tournament , saying that Abia was the only state in the South-East that owned a female soccer team.
Onydinma called on the other states in the zone to emulate Abia by sponsoring female football teams as part of efforts to develop female football in the area.
She said that the league had recorded appreciable achievements, in spite of daunting challenges, adding that NWFL was committed to the task of developing grassroots female soccer in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Rivers Angels defeated Bayelsa Queens by a lone goal, scored in the 35th minute by Osinachi Ohali.
Nasarawa Amazons defeated Delta Queens by 2-1 to take the third position in the tournament, which was held at Umuahia Township Stadium.
In an interview with NAN the captain of Rivers Angels’ Atu Lucky, expressed delight that the team successfully defended the trophy it won last year.
She said that lack of corporate sponsorship was the major challenge hindering the development of female soccer in Nigeria.
“Female footballers will do better if we have corporate sponsorship,’’ she said.
NAN reports that the other teams that participated in the four-day competition included Sunshine Queens of Akure and Confluence Queens of Kogi. (NAN)