By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria
As 2021 beckons signaling the intending end of 2020, www.kick442.com examines the ten major stories that characterised women’s football in the country.
Even though COVID-19 truncated some events, the year also witnessed some wonderful stories.
In no particular order, here are the ten stories.
The Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) under the leadership of Aisha Falode rebranded the league in 2020 as a way of marking 30 years of existence of the league. This ensured that the league has a new logo and the divisions rechristened. The Nigeria Women’s Premier League was rechristened the NWFL Premiership. The hitherto Pro-League was renamed NWFL Championship, while the Amateur League came to be known as NWFL Nationwide.
Total Women’s CAF Champions League
The Confederation of Africa Football in 2020 sanctioned the Women’s CAF Champions League with the inaugural edition slated to kick off in 2021 on a regional basis. Regional winners will vie for the title. The news was warmly received by women football stakeholders in Nigeria including NWFL Chairperson, Ms. Aisha Falode who is an advocate of the competition.
Super Falcons finish 2020 in 37th position without playing a game
Super Falcons finished the year as the top-ranked African country without playing a single match in 2020. The last time they played a game was in October 2019.
The relegation of Adamawa Queens and Heartland Queens
The two clubs were relegated from the NWFL Premiership to the Championship because they could not meet up with Club licensing procedures of the league ahead of the kick-off of the 2021 season. Some of the procedures include payment of players’ salaries, players’ insurance, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) certificate, players’ medicals, and Club indebtedness to NWFL.
A record number of clubs for NWFL Nationwide
20 clubs according to NWFL have shown interest in participating in the NWFL Nationwide League (formerly known as the Amateur league).
Royaltoms Queens, Unification Queens, Victory Queens, Bayelsa Queens Feeders, Nakamura Football Academy, Ossy Angels FC, Alimosho FC, Abruka Queens, Ekiti Queens, Oasis FC, Pelican Stars Feeders, Rivers Angels Feeders, Anele Community Initiative FC, FC Niger Amazon, Osklean FC, Dannaz FC, Papa Soccer Academy, Fortress Ladies FC, Termagants of Fatai FC, and Honey Badgers FC have all shown interest in participating in the league.
2021 NWFL Premiership kick-off ahead of NPFL
2021 NWFL Premiership kicked off on Wednesday, December 9, 2020. The league commenced ahead of their male counterparts (the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL).
Week one produced 19 goals from seven games.
2019-2020 NWFL scrapped season
The league board in 2020 scrapped the 2019/2020 league season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was also done for clubs to prepare for the 2020/2021 season which will be a straight season in preparation for the 2021 CAF Champions League.
Appointment of Randy Waldrum as Super Falcons coach
Randy Waldrum on October 5, was appointed as the new Head Coach of the Super Falcons of Nigeria by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). He thus replaced Thomas Dennerby, who left his position in 2019 after the FIFA Women’s World Cup to take up the coaching job of the Indian U-17 girls.
Teams Managed by Randy Waldrum
1978–1989- Pittsburg State University (women)
1989–1994- Tulsa (men)
1989–1994- University of Tulsa (women)
1996–1998- Baylor University (women)
1999–2013- University of Notre Dame (women)
2014–2016- Trinidad and Tobago (women)
2014–2017- Houston Dash
2018–University of Pittsburgh (women)
Appointment of Amina Daura as Head of Women’s Football
The Nigeria Football Federation in 2020 announced the appointment of Amina Sani Zangon Daura as its new Head of Women’s Football.
A UNICEF ambassador, Ms. Daura will oversee the development of women’s football across the nation and also provide technical support to the Head Coach, Randy Waldrum. She will be responsible for increasing the participation of women in football at all levels and developing opportunities for women in football with respect to grassroots education, performance, and administration.
FIFA fund for Women’s Football
World football governing body, FIFA in 2020 disbursed $500,000 to member association for the development of Women’s football. NFF confirmed the receipt of the funds which will be disbursed to clubs in the women’s league.
As we look forward to 2021, www.kick442.com wishes all our esteemed readers a prosperous New Year.
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