SUPER Falcons skipper Desire Oparanozie has called on the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to pay the women’s national team the same amount in bonuses that the men’s team are getting in the interest of fairness and equity.
Traditionally, Nigeria’s women’s football teams have been seen as poor relations of their male counterparts in terms of training, bonuses and equipment. Super Eagles players get a match bonus of $2,500 per game, which is usually paid out immediately after each match, whereas the Falcons always have a fight to get paid.
Speaking call at the 2019 Ladies In Sports conference held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, in Lagos, Oparanozie also advocated for the Nigeria Women’s Football League to be televised. Founded by ace sports broadcaster, Tega Onojaife and organised with the theme Keeping the Barriers Down, the event attracted athletes, journalists, administrators and coaches.
Oparanozie said: “I think we deserve equal pay as we are the most successful female team in Africa and we have done the nation proud. I believe we will get there, one step at a time.”
“Also, the Nigeria Football Federation must work on getting the women’s league on TV. With that, there will be more eyes on the league and sponsors can come in.”
NFF first vice president, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi opened the discussions on the importance of girls and women in sports, highlighting that sportswomen have to work harder to get recognition in today’s society. He added: “One of the things that can help Nigeria reach its potential is to give women opportunities in every area.”
Other leading women who spoke at the conference include Ghana’s women’s national team coach, Mercy Tagoe and former Banyana Banyana midfielder Amanda Dlamini. Oparanozie addressed the issue of equal pay while Coach Tagoe talked about her journey from being a footballer to a referee and a coach.
Amanda Dlamini urged footballers to prepare for retirement, as that made it easier for her transition into sports broadcasting after she hung up her boots. She added: “Football is not your whole life.
“You need to get yourself ready for retirement. I had to go to the university to ensure I could do something after I retired.”