The Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) on Sunday 20th August, 2023, hosted guests to a FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ Final Watch Party in conjunction with LaLiga to celebrate, raise awareness and solicit financial support for the women’s game in the country at the Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Members of the diplomatic community, representatives of potential partners, corporate organisations, and high net-worth personalities, were treated to a thrilling and fun-filled final between Spain and England, in addition to enjoying exclusive giveaways and VIP
During the exhilarating three-hour-long event, the Chairman of the Nigeria Women Football League, Ms. Nkechi Obi, seized the occasion to unveil the league’s strategic plan, while also raising awareness, soliciting support, partnerships, and sponsorships that would enable the growth of the women’s league while also creating enduring pathways for the next generation of women football superstars.
“For us at the NWFL, this occasion is the chance to network with the people and the brands that believe in us,” Obi revealed. “We want to develop the women’s game overall and want women to excel and pursue their passion like those in England and Spain. We have a goal
and have devised strategies to help us achieve this goal.
“We are discussing with Corporate Nigeria, high net worth individuals, and stakeholders, including state associations as well as fans, coaches, and commercial partners, with the goal of establishing a strong, appealing, and well-governed women’s football league.
“We believe with the encouragement and right funding, we can be the next Spain who set an unprecedented record, becoming the first nation to win all the three global women’s football competitions (U17, U20, and Senior level)”
On his part, LaLiga Nigeria’s Country Manager, Desmond Chiji, recounted the storied seven-year strategic plan which saw Spain become world champions for the first time in 2023 while
appealing for the support of all and sundry to grow the NWFL.
“We want women to have a career in football where they don’t need to have football and another job. We want to promote the women’s league enough to create an economy of its own,” he disclosed.
“We are going to take it as far as it can go. We need the support of everyone and that’s why Spain is now world champions after seven years. We are optimistic that the same value and traditions and development we are bringing will come good in Nigeria, but we need to also be consistent with it.”
Former Internationals Gift Okunwa and current Super Falcons Assistant Coach Ann Agumanu-Chiejine, both members of Nigeria’s squad to the China 1991 Women’s World Cup took turns to appeal for support and investment in the women’s league.
Also joining in the appeal for corporate and public support for the NWFL were Barcelona superstar Asisat Oshoala and Racing Louisville striker Uchenna Kanu, who were both part of Nigeria’s squad for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia & New Zealand.
“I want to urge everyone to support the Nigeria Women’s Football League. This is a league that has groomed a lot of players for our national team and allowed me to showcase my talent before taking my trade abroad,” Oshoala passionately appealed in a video message.
“Sixty percent of the Nigeria squad at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup were products of the Nigerian league. I am urging everyone from government to private bodies, to please support the NWFL. It is an investment that is worth it.”
On her part, US-based Kanu, who recently launched her foundation to cater for the needs of the girl-child, said: “I am calling on Nigerians – young and old, corporate bodies to get behind this league [NWFL] and help it grow and get to where it ought to be. Investing in the Nigerian women’s league will develop and expose young talents and help them become world-class players.”
Present at the final Watch Party were Jose Maria Ferre Trad, Consul General of the Spanish Consulate and some members of the
Consulate. Desmond Chiji, Country Manager, La Liga Global Network Nigeria & Ghana: Mr. Mutiu Adepoju, Ambassador, La Liga: Ayodeji Adegbenro, La Liga. NWFL Board Members in attendance were Alhaja Alaya, Ayodele Thomas and Danny Nazzal.
Other notable persons also present are Chief Chijioke Okoli, SAN, Principal, Delphi Law Advisory; Mr. Yahaya Maikori, Vice Chair, Sport Nigeria LTD; Mr. Seyi Akinwunmi, former First Vice President, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF); Dr. Henry Nzekwu, President, Nigeria Netball Federation; Mr. Obi Asika, Board Member, Sport Nigeria LTD; Prince Adeyinka Adeboye (Authority), SA to Lagos State Governor, Mr. Ikechi Ayo Iroche, formerly of the National Sports Commission, Mr Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu of Grand Central Ms. Martina Ezeala, representative of Austrian Embassy; Miss Debbie Larry-Izamoje, Chief Operating Officer, Brila FM; Bashir Salami, Lotus
Bank; dr. Ikenna Nwosu, Facilitator (THECS Policy Commission), NESG; Mr. James Torvaney, Managing Director, Pulse Miss Latasha Ngwube, Editor/Founder, The Will Downtown; Mr. Femi Abioye, DeKaizen Worldwide, Mr Enee Udo-Obong, Nigeria’s sprint gold medalist, Miss Wana Udobang; Paul Edeh, Esq., Chairman, Benue State Football Association; Funso Popoola, Boston Advisory Limited; Fouad Oki, Chairman, Lagos State Football Association; Gafar AlAmin, 36 Lions FC Nneka Itabor, First Bank; Mr. Emeka Duru, Standard Chartered Bank, Mr. Paul Maduakor, Zenith Sports, among others.