In appreciation for her efforts in turning around the Nigeria Women’s Football League (NWFL) and also giving wings to the professional careers of several Nigerian players in foreign leagues around the world, Aisha Falode yesterday received praises from several football personalities in Lagos.
At a ‘Thank You Brunch’ Falode organised for select football personalities, sponsors and sports journalists at the Radisson Hotel in Ikeja, Lagos, the NFF board member was praised for her role as game changer for the women’s game in the country.
Super Falcons trio of Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid), Asisat Oshoala (Barcelona Femeni), Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC), and Monday Gift (UDG Tenerife) joined eminent football administrators like FIFA Council Member, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, former NFF First Vice-president, Seyi Akinwunmi, former Green Eagles Captain, Segun Odegbami, former AIPS President, Michell Obi, and CEO of Brila FM, Larry Izamoje, to pour plaudits on Falode for her contributions to football development in the country and Africa.
In her contribution sent via video on projector, Oshoala said Falode gave the NWFL a big boost that strengthen the female national team with budding stars.
“Many players came up from the league and they were so talented and hungry for glory. The league witnessed a rebirth under Madam Falode. I wish her luck in her future endeavors,” observed the Nigerian international.
Ajibade on her part, stressed that Falode was a game changer in the history of women’s football in the country just as goalkeeper Nnadozie said she was proud to be one of the products of the Super Six which Falode introduced during her time as the NWFL chairperson.
Gift stated that Falode’s dedication stood her out and it empowered many young talents to develop into super stars today.
Pinnick who as President of the NFF appointed Falode to superintendent the women’s league praised her industry, tenacity and eyes for details in ensuring that he was not disappointed in her choice for the job.
“Aisha (Falode) is a gift to humanity for her excellence, loyalty and dedication in the discharge of her duties to the federation. She won in where others failed. We are very proud of her achievements in the women’s game,” observed Pinnick who flew into Lagos for the event from Ghana where he led a FIFA delegation to find solutions to the country’s FA problems.
He said he will not be surprised if Nigeria’s women’s senior team wins the World Cup before the men because of the quality of work put in by the likes of Falode.
Dr. Izamoje also stated that the testimonies of the players were enough as scorecard of the five-year sojourn of Falode in the NWFL.
In what appears a scorecard of her five-year sojourn in the women’s league, Falode said: “We met the women’s league at point zero because there was no structure, hence teams were not turning up for even their home matches.
“After we took over and started paying referees, teams took our league seriously and we moved on till we managed to attract sponsors.
“I thank Amaju Pinnick for his assistance and also all those who supported me while in office as NWFL chair person,” she recalled.
Falode said her low point was governance because of the stubborn nature of the people in the league.
“Governance was tough because even when we agreed on issues at the meeting, some of the administrators of these teams will go ahead and do something else. All the same, I stamped my foot down to ensure reason prevailed in all of those cases just for the growth of women football,” Falode concluded with appeal to the media to give equal support to the new Nkechi Obi-led NWFL for continuity of the legacy she left behind.