Empowerment at the heart of She Football initiative in Lagos15 January 2020

Over450youngwomenhavebeeninvolvedinoneofthebiggestindependentgirlsfootballinitiativesinAfricawhichkickedofflastweekastheSheFootballconferenceandtournamenttookplaceinLagos,Nigeria.

The initiative led by former Nigeria international Ayisat Yusuf Aromire, and supported by Fare, aims to help empower young women through football and enhance the development of skills. The first phase of the event was a conference with prominent national speakers, which has been followed this week (13 January) by teams across the Lagos area coming together in a playing event.

Women’s football is at a developed stage in only a handful of Africa nations and Ayisat has used her initiative over the past few years to further help improve the game for young women in Nigeria.

Ayisat said: “We have discovered the need to upgrade the status of female footballers beyond just the street, the field and the training grounds. It is our responsibility to create bonds among people and communities through football which has become the number one tool across the globe.

“We believe that the programme must be characterised by activities, giving a good time and the feeling of being part of something very special. The She Football conference is one of those ways we consider necessary to enlighten, advocate and garner more support for women’s football.”

The conference was addressed by former Super Falcons player and Atlanta 1996 Olympic games long jump Gold Medalist Chioma Ajunwa, former Super Falcons Goalkeeper Ann Chijiene, founder of Ladies In Sports Tega Onojaife and Ezinne Ezeani founder of She Can, Nigeria

“Women’s Football is all about making positive impact in society. There is dignity and honour in everything you do as a woman, no doubt education is key,” said Ezinne.

Nigeria reached the second round of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and have won 9 African Womens Cup of Nations Championships.

Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, vice- President of the Nigerian Football Federation, underlined the importance of womens teams in Africa, ”Its easier for us to win the World Cup with the Super Falcons than with the Super Eagles, because we have the talent to do that”.