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‘Nothing has changed in women football league’

Former Green Eagles’ winger, now a sports scientist, Adegoke Adelabu, is sad over the ‘failure’ of those managing the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) to secure a lead sponsor for the game, despite its rising profile globally.

“I am not surprised at the lack of sponsorship for our women football league because it is only a well packaged league that will attract sponsors,” Adelabu told The Guardian.

In his days as Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung challenged the NFF’s Committee on women football to rebrand ‘its products’ so that the league can have sponsors, partners, and investors.

He said: “The days when government will be the sole financier of sports are over. Therefore, the league managers must think outside the box, rebrand, and influence investors and sponsors because anything besides this will lead to lack of support and there will be dwindling fortunes in women’s football.”

That was in 2018 before Sunday Dare was brought in to replace Dalung by ex-President, Muhammadu Buhari.

In the past, players from Cameroun, Ghana, Senegal, DR Congo, and Equatorial Guinea featured for various clubs in Nigeria, but today many of them have since left because the League has been running without any sponsor.

Since soft drink giant, Pepsi, pulled out of the sponsorship of Nigeria women football league in 2002, it had been the same message of no sponsor from one board to another.

From the days of Princess Bola Jegede to Alhaja Ayo Omidiran, Dilichukwu Onyedinma and the immediate past board led by Aisha Falode, the nation’s women football league was without any lead sponsor.

It was the same old story all through the administration of former NFF President, Amaju Pinnick.

To a large extent, the ‘no sponsorship’ for the women league reduced the