It was the dream of Nigeria women footballers to play in countries such like USA, Norway, Sweden,Canada and China who dominated the Sport globally years ago.
This was as a result of the chaos noticeable in the Nigeria Women football league(NWFL).
Nigeria Women Football League
Most Nigeria female footballers desire good pay for their efforts which was hard to achieve in Nigeria then due to the poor state of the league. In pursuit of greener pastures, some of them were fortunate to move to clubs in the aforementioned countries which to them was a dream come true. Moreover, those countries had the best leagues in operation.
However, the trend has changed now as most footballers have become classic in their desires.
Most of them today choose Spain, a country which has suddenly becomes the beautiful bride of Nigeria female footballers.
Some Nigeria female footballers who ply their trade presently in Spain are:
Asisat Oshoala – Barcelona
Osinachi Ohale – CD Tacon
Rita Chikwelu and Chidinma Okeke – Madrid CFF
Alice Ogebe – Real Betis Feminas
Toni Payne – Sevilla FC
Peace Efih – Sporting de Huelva
Charity Adule – Eibar
And more are still on the move as Tochukwu Oluehi and Evelyn Nwabuoku pitched tent with CD Pozoalbe.
Furtherance to the quest of Nigeria Female footballers lacing their boots in Spain, reports emerged last year that Spain’s top division secured historic league-wide contracts, after more than a year of negotiations over a pay dispute, maternity, holiday and injury pay, which saw the players go on strike.
The association of clubs (ACFF) and various players’ unions were locked in talks over the league’s first ever collective bargaining agreement for nearly 18 months, but finally put pen to paper last year.
Though they agreed on minimum full-time player salaries of €16,000, the main gripe was with the request for part-time player salaries to be €12,000, rather than the €8,000 they had proposed.
Probably, that is why Spain have become the beautiful bride of Nigeria female Footballers.
In her reactions, Super Falcons of Nigeria player,Chidinma Okeke said she inquired about the weather, the pay and other benefits in Spain’s Ibredola prior to her move to Madrid CFF from Nigeria Women Football League side, FC Robo in August 2019. She noted that football in Spain has improved tremendously.
Although, the 20 year old defender said she was injured when players in Spain’s Ibredola fought and achieved the historic feat.
The most capped Super Falcon Maureen Mmadu added that Nigerian female footballers move to Spain because that is where the offers come from.
Mmadu who played for clubs in Norway and Sweden in her active days further explained that the search for greener pastures contributed to Nigerian Footballers prefererence of Spain or any other country to the Nigeria Women Football League.
The former assistant coach of the Super Falcons is of the opinion that Spain is a bit warmer compared to other countries like Sweden and China, who want older players with experience of European football.
In other fans opinion, Spain are injecting African style of football in their league in order to accomplish the mixture of physical and skill in football.
It is also imperative to take into consideration that La Liga and the Nigeria Women Football League, signed a memorandum of agreement in 2018, to promote women’s soccer in both countries.
Another objective of the collaboration between the two agencies is to promote women’s access to the sports management, also the cooperation in the development and formation of liability actions , corporate social issues that promote equality gender and the integration of women not only in football, but also in sports.
With this collaboration in mind, one can easily say that more Nigerians will move to Spain’s Ibredola in future.
Courtesy of: AIPS