• ‘We will exploit the many opportunities in football’
Chairperson of the Nigerian Women Football League (NWFL), Aisha Falode, has said that she decided to vie for election into the Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) executive committee, because she believes the position will place her in a good position to implement the changes needed for the growth of the NWFL.
Falode, who was appointed by the outgoing board to lead the country’s women football league, said being an elected member would give her the clout to defend the league and shoo away those with inclinations detrimental to the growth of the game.
Speaking in Lagos at the weekend, Falode said: “I want to have the power, the authority to air my thoughts, opinions and ideas as of right. But for NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, I would not have done so many things I did for women football.
“He supported me even when some people wanted to shut me down. But Amaju will no longer be there, so I want to get into the on my own and not through appointment.”
Falode, who disclosed that she picked the form for the election last week, said if she wins the race to the board, she would push for a football federation that is professionally run.
“We know a lot of things that can be done better in the NFF. The executive committee is not what makes a football house; the secretariat makes a federation whatever it is.
“We will push for a secretariat that is modern and can move things the right way. A secretariat that is alive to its responsibilities and accessible at all times.”
Falode said that her desire is to consolidate on the gains of the NWFL, adding that getting into the board as an elected member will give her enough room to search for partnerships that would impact positively on the game.
“We are not where we should be because of the restrictions by the NFF.
“We planned a Women Football Strategy Summit, but we were told it is an NFF function. Yet, it was not done.
“We have a football federation without a commercial department…the marketing department is there by name only. Many people in the secretariat have no business near football.
“Football is big business and there are so many opportunities in it. When I become a board member, I will help the federation to exploit all these opportunities to Nigeria’s advantage,” she said.