By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria
During the early periods of Women’s Football in Nigeria, Clubs like Ufuoma Babes and Jegede Babes dominated the scene winning the league and Challenge Cups. The Proprietress and Proprietor of both clubs recently told www.kick442.com that the clubs will soon be back in the women’s football scene in Nigeria.
The proprietor of Larry Angels, Chief Larry Eze says it will be great for both clubs to come back to the Nigeria Women Football landscape after more than two decades of their hiatuses.
“That will be great if Ufuoma Babes and Jegede Babes come back to the Women’s Football scene. Those Clubs have contributed immensely to the development of women’s football in Nigeria and have won league titles in Nigeria. It will be a thing of joy for them to be back.” Chief Larry Eze told www.kick442.com.
It should be noted that Larry Angels and the likes of Rivers Mermaids metamorphosed to Rivers Angels.
“I am no longer into Women’s Football again. When Larry Angels was a football Club in the 1990s, it featured in the Women’s League and Challenge Cup.
Chief Larry Eze was one of the pioneers of Women’s football in Nigeria as he alongside the likes of Elder Eddington Kuejubola (Proprietor, Ufuoma Babes), Mr. Chris Abisuga (Chairman/ CEO of Golden Wonders FC of Lagos), and Late Mr. Joe Otawawa went to the Nigeria Football Association, NFA in 1988 to put pressure on the NFA in a bid to start women’s football in Nigeria. Little did they know that the first Women’s World Cup will be staged three years later. This was done under the auspices of the Nigeria Female Football Organizers Association (NIFFOA). As a result of the meeting, NIFFOA became Nigeria Female Football Proprietors Association, NIFFPA.
“The meeting with NFA went very well and I was the head of the delegation, followed by Eddington Kuejubola of Ufuoma Babes. As at that time, we have clubs like Police Machine, Ufuoma Babes, Pelican Stars of Calabar, FCT Queens, the capital club in Abuja. It is quite a long time now.
“The reason why I hand off Larry Angels was that people went out. We all scattered because of the financial situation. If any of my children want to venture into women’s football, I will surely give them my support.
“If I will be supported, I will be happy. I need money now because I need it so much and there is no money in the country now. To eat now is not easy.” Chief Larry Eze concluded.
In the 1990s, different individuals financed women’s clubs in Nigeria.
Alhaja Ayo Omidiran was funding Omidiran Babes FC in Oshogbo, Princess Bola Jegede used the then Jegede Babes to raise female football in Lagos, Chief Larry Eze catered for the girls through Larry Angels in Port Harcourt. There was also Oladimeji Tigress in Ilorin, Ufuoma Babes funded by Eddington Kuejubola in Warri, Inneh Queens by the late Pa Inneh in Benin City and Simbiat Abiola Babes was funded by the wife of late Chief MKO Abiola in Abeokuta.
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