Reigning African Women’s Cup of Nations Champions’ Captain Desire Oparanozie has called for the players of Nigeria’s Super Falcons to be paid the same like their counterparts of the Super Eagles.

Nigeria’s Super Falcons have had an outrageous domination of female football in the continent, winning eleven trophies out of thirteen AWCON tournament ever played and representing Africa in all eight FIFA female World Cups since 1991.

The Super Eagles on their part have lifted three AFCON trophies since the competition began in 1957 in 18 participations and have never progressed beyond the round of 16 in six FIFA World Cup participations, with their best performance being a 9th place standing in 1994 in the USA in their very first participation.

Based on the arrangements made by the Nigerian Football Federation and the state authorities, players of the female national team are expected to get US$3000 for every win and US$1500 for every draw in major tournaments, while the men’s team is expected to receive US$10,000 for a win and US$5000 for a draw in major tournaments.

The Super Falcons Captain was quick to point out how unjust this disparity is.

We are the most successful female team in Africa, yet we have the largest disparities between men’s and women’s pay,” she said at the 2019 Ladies In Sports (LIS) conference in Lagos.

I think we deserve equal pay. This big gap tells a different story and a proper rethink of this mode of payment could also help the women’s game.”

The Guingamp forward thinks that if the women are paid equally as the men it is just logical especially given the strides that women’s football is making globally and how successful Nigeria have been on the continent.

We have done the nation proud and I think the results over the years are there for all to see,” Oparanozie added.

The Super Falcon thinks with better remuneration they can challenge for even greater success.

With positive results and more success, I believe we will get there, it’s one step at a time.”

The Nigerian women’s football national team are no strangers to strikes over unpaid bonuses though this is a common problem with most African teams.

At the just ended FIFA Women’s World Cup in France the Super Falcons staged a sit-in protest in front of the hotel over unpaid bonuses and allowances after they were eliminated at the round of 16 by Germany.

In 2016 they had a public demonstration in Abuja for unpaid bonuses after winning the AWCON in Cameroon. They also made their disgruntlement known in 2004 when they decided to stay in their hotel for three additional days until their allowances were paid after winning the AWCON.

25 year old Nigerian captain Ugochi Desire Oparanozie is adding her voice to that of controversial but iconic USA captain Megan Rapinoe who led a call for equal pay for the USA women’s team. The US women’s team even began legal action against the US Soccer Federation for equal pay early this year.

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The calls for better treatment of the female footballers continue to increase even leading to a protest from reigning Women’s Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg of Olympique Lyonnais and Norway choosing to stay away from her national team and missing the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France due to what she calls lack of respect for female footballers.

It’s is time female football and footballers was given better treatment and attention going by the different calls and concerns raised by the main protagonists.

Muambo Edward