By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria
Nigeria Women Football League, NWFL have been graced by Clubs in time past, some metamorphosed into another, some changed names, and others had a natural or economic cataclysmic death.
In its inquisitiveness which is aimed at looking back to the history of women’s football in Nigeria, www.kick442.com with the help of stakeholders in Women’s football in Nigeria compiled a list of Clubs in the 1980s and 1990s.
A notable club worth mentioning is Ufuoma Babes of Warri, Delta State. The Club under its Proprietor, Elder Eddington Kuejubola went on to dominate female football in Bendel State and Nigeria in general, winning four female league trophies and three Challenge Cups (FA Cup, now Aiteo Cup) from 1992 to 1996 before it went into extinction. Ufuoma Babes produced the majority of the female football players in the Nigerian Female National team (Super Falcons). In the 1990s, they went on to excel in the CAF African female Nations cup, All African games, FIFA Women’s World Cup, and Olympic games. Notable names were Florence Omagbemi, Mavis Ogun, Patience Avre, Uche Eucharia, Mercy Akide, Omo Love Branch, Nkiru Okieseme, Florence Iweta, Phoebe Ebimienkumo, etc.
Another Club worth mentioning in the 1990s is Pelican Stars of Calabar, Cross Rivers State. The Club is the most successful Club in the country with eight league titles and six FA Cup titles. It recently gained promotion to the top flight alongside Royal Queens of Warri, but recent news of the state owing players backlog of salaries might be the beginning of the end for the Club if the state decides not to rise to the occasion.
Jegede Babes under Princess Bola Jegede also reigned in the 1990s as far as the league is concerned. Princess Bola Jegede contributed immensely to the creation of the women’s league as her Club (Jegede Babes) was one of the Clubs that started the journey in the late 1980s, 1987 to be precise.
Two years later, twenty-eight other clubs were born, inspired by the creation of the Jegede Babes Football Club. Since unity is strength, the owners of each team came together to form the NIFFOA (Nigerian Football Female Organisers Association). The lady representative of the NFA (Nigerian Football Association) did not lose any time in launching the very first inter-club championship organised in Lagos in 1990. It was not the NFA or the NIFFOA which financed this inaugural tournament. Indeed, using her own private money, Princess Bola Jegede sponsored the competition, even supplying the trophy. However, it won the approval of the Nigerian Federation.
Other Women Football Clubs around this time are listed below:
LIST OF NIGERIAN FEMALE CLUBS IN THE 80s and 90s
Kakanfo Queens (PEPSI Tigress Angels)
Golden Star, Lagos
Jegede Babes, Lagos
Rivers Mermaids, Port Harcourt
Onyekachi Angels, Lagos
Liberty Stars, Ibadan
Eleven (11) Planner Angels
Major Keys Lagos
Tin City Queens
Omidiran Babes, Osogbo
Worldwide Angels, Port Harcourt
Vero BIM Queens, Lagos
FSP Obi Babes Osogbo
Oladimeji Tigress, Ilorin
Simbiat Abiola Queens, Abeokuta
Flaming Flamingoes FC
Flying Babes, Lagos
Lionness Stars, Ibadan
Julie Useni Queens, Abuja
Inneh Queens, Benin
Palma lioness, Nsukka
Coal city queens, Enugu.
Garden City Queens
Benin Striking Queens
Obasogie Queens, Benin
Hamza Queens, Lagos
Admiralty Queens of Yenagoa
Young Stars of Ajegunle
Tony Anthony cocoa Queens of Akure
Police female machine team of Akure
Akinlalu babes of Owena
Police Machine, Ikeja, Lagos
Yaba Queens, Lagos
Young Talented, Lagos
As earlier stated, some of them changed names to the current Clubs in the Nigeria Women Football League, NWFL while most of the Clubs could not beat the test of time as a result of different reasons.
In order to have full details on these Clubs, www.kick442.com will be embarking on a soul searching journey to dig out the reasons why these Clubs no longer exist.
Be sure that we shall bring you more stories about the history of the NWFL as the league marks it’s 30 years anniversary this year (2020).
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