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The underappreciated role of women in sports in Nigeria

The underappreciated role of women in sports in Nigeria

It is arguable that a greater proportion of Nigeria’s sporting success is attributable to women. Both in terms of impact and sheer numbers, Nigerian women stack up immensely well against their male counterparts. In spite of this, there has been an almost systematic neglect of women in sports in Nigeria.

The most obvious example, and this only because the most populous black nation in the world is obsessed with it, is in football. Nigeria’s Super Falcons are the winningest national football team on the continent. They have represented Africa at every edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup since the inaugural tournament in 1991.

Only Equatorial Guinea have interrupted the Super Falcons’ streak of dominance on the continent, and it took a very inorganic approach to team-building (including fielding ineligible players, for which they have been banned) to achieve this.

Yet, where their welfare is concerned, they are considered almost an afterthought. The last edition of the CAF Women’s Nations Cup was held in Cameroon, and at the end of it, coach of the team Florence Omagbemi became the only African women to win the competition as player, captain and coach…

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