Nigerian Football Federation says it hasn’t banned lesbians from professional football

March 11, 2013
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The Nigerian Football Federation says lesbians have not been banned from playing in the West African country following recent reports.

Last Thursday, 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, reportedly said: “Any player that we find is associated with it [lesbianism] will be disqualified.

“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.”

On Monday, NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire told BBC Sport: “Unfortunately, a section of the media has blown petty speculation out of proportion.

“The NFF never received any letter or query from FIFA.”

It had been reported that football’s world governing body FIFA had written to the NFF, seeking clarification over the situation.

However, Mr Olajire said this was not correct and also strongly denied reports that Dilichukwu Onyedinma had advocated a ban for gay players.

“We have already circulated Onyedinma’s speech at the NWFL’s annual general assembly, clearly she never said anything of the nature that has been alleged,” he said.

“The NWFL chairperson never made such sensitive comments and the NFF are not under any FIFA probe or query.”

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.



More: Africa, Africa, BBC, BBC Sport, FA, football, Football Association, gay footballers, homophobia in football, lesbians, Nigeria, Nigerian Football Federation

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