The Nigerian women’s football team says it has successfully banned homosexuality among players.

Coach Eucharia Uche claims that since she was hired in 2009, she has eradicated homosexuality from the squad.

Speaking to the New York Times, Uche, who is married with two children, said lesbianism was “morally very wrong” and “a dirty issue”.

She said she discovered which players were lesbians through rumours and brought in Pentecostal ministers to pray with the team.

Uche, a former Nigeria player, said: “The issue of lesbianism is common.

“I came to realise it is not a physical battle; we need divine intervention in order to control and curb it. I tell you it worked for us. This is a thing of the past. It is never mentioned.”

Uche first declared she had rid the team of homosexuality in an interview with the Nigerian Daily Sun in March.

In the same article, James Peters, a former technical assistant for the country’s soccer federation, claimed he had sacked some players from the national team for being lesbians.

Peters said: : “Having coached female teams in the US, I have an in-depth knowledge about how lesbians operate.

“When I was drafted to work with the Falcons last year, I decamped some of the players, not because they were not good players, but because they were lesbians. It did not go down well with some of the players because we made sure that neither the ‘husband’ nor the ‘wife’ made the team,” he said.