FIFA has written to the Nigerian Football Association over reports that lesbians have been banned from football in the west African country following the comments of the chair of the Nigeria Women Football League.

According to the Press Association, Dilichukwu Onyedinma, chair of the Nigeria Women Football League and a member of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) executive committee, was reported as saying that lesbians are now officially banned from playing professional Nigerian football.

“Any player that we find is associated with it [lesbianism] will be disqualified,” Onyedinma was quoted by Nigerian media as saying.

“We will call the club chairmen to control their players and such players will not be able to play for the national team.

“It is happening but we have to talk to the clubs and look inside the clubs, and these things have to do with clubs.

“There are particular clubs that don’t even want to hear about it and once they heard it the players involved will be sacked.”

Such a move would contravene FIFA’s anti-discrimination policies and it is understood the world governing body has sent a letter to the Nigerian FA asking for clarification.

Being gay is already illegal in Nigeria and in the past year attempts have been made to further outlaw same-sex marriage.

In July 2011, FIFA criticised Eucharia Uche, the former coach of the Nigerian women’s football team after she said she had forced out lesbian players.

Uche reportedly said that being gay “was “morally very wrong” and “a dirty issue” and claimed that she had taken steps to stamp it out in the squad.

In December 2010, FIFA President Sepp Blatter was forced to apologise for saying that gay football fans should avoid having sex in Qatar – in light of the country’s draconian anti-gay laws.

Qatar hosts the World Cup in 2022.