I watched as the Aisha Buhari Cup came to a beautiful end (though many Nigerian Soccer fans would argue the word ‘beautiful end’ considering the fortune of our team in the humiliating loss on the final day, to the Young energetic, Composed South African Ladies). But overall from my view it was a well Planned, Publicized & executed Tourney and one which Football Managers of every level + LOCs of all kinds could take a cue from as to Organization, Publicity and Sponsorship generation.

The invited Teams to this Tournament did not pay to register for it, (at least not that I know of) but all the teams were well taken care of, accommodated and at the end it was a beauty to witness with many Dignitaries drawn from World Football Circle to Africa and Nigerian Stakeholders too. The NFF was well represented, I watched the The Vice President Barr Sheyi Akinwunmi when he was being interviewed by Super Sports man Anazodo. The sight was beautiful. Kudos to the Organizers.

The idea of this tournament from my Conclusion was great and well thought out, and the Involvement or rather Naming of the Tourney was Capturing considering our Nation’s Political Chemistry at the Moment, as you can barely take politics away from any gathering of such in Nigeria.

This is the reality on ground. So bringing in Our First Lady, A. Woman who has always voiced out for the Girl Child was a Lit, and for me very intelligent, and realistically her involvement drew many high profile personalities to this project ad gave it the Publicity we all enjoyed. This was a smart move.

The Invitational Tournament was Termed or would you say Themed “PLAYING FOR THE GOOD OF THE GIRL CHILD”. (I hope I am Correct) if I am Correct, then the Theme was very fitting for a time as this in our Nation and the attention it garnered was applauding. Kudos to every Girl Child that has risen against the Cultural and Societal restrictions, to be able to state claim to the Podium and made a name for herself and inspire other girls.

However, I am saddened by the Publication put forward immediately after the Conclusion of this beautiful tournament by the *Communications Department of the NFF. A report credited to Mr Olajire which is now making rounds in many Sections of the Media and have put a very bad/sore taste to the good end of a well organized and publicized event.

If the Tourney was to encourage the Girl Child and showcase their abilities to rise against Societal Suppressions, I think Mr Olajire succeeded in his Article in DEHUMANIZING, DESTROYING, DEMEANING & DISRESPECTING THE GIRL CHILD in the person of our own DESIRE OPARANOZIE a Former Super Falcons’ Captain and one Girl Child that have always given her all to the Service of the National Team.

The Shocking thing about this SMEAR CAMPAIGN as I call that article is that Mr Olajire Authoritatively represented the NIGERIA FOOTBALL FEDERATION (NFF) in this article as the Official View of the federation. I see this as disgusting, appalling and Unprofessional. And I call on all Sports writers, Female Sports Writers, Female Football Coaches, The First Lady Dr. Aisha Buhari, her Daughters who were present, the First Lady of Lagos State and indeed ALL STAKE HOLDERS *to rise in defense of this Girl Child Desire Oparanozie.

All professional Footballer at one time or the other have bad day on the pitch, and when a football match is lost, IT IS A TEAM that loses not an individual. So I find it so Unprofessional and a Premeditated motive to SMEAR, DESTROY & MALIGN a Young Woman who have sweated blood for the same National Team she’s being destroyed for, one who still has a professional Career running as we speak.

Olajire didn’t not consider the effect on the Psychology of the player and other players, the Danger of such publications on the Club Career of the person, and the Representation it pushes out for our Football and Society at large. Olajire has done us more damage than good just in an over zealous Piece. This is Saddening!

A greater number of the team didn’t really tune up their games + performance in the singular game we watched against the South African Ladies yesterday, the Likes of ASISAT, EBI, CHIKWELU, ORDEGA, + Others, an analysis that could also be an indictment on the technical bench, so why Mr Olajire succeeded in singling out a person to destroy in his ill-motivated article in such an unprofessional way is beyond my understanding.

I think Mr Olajire and indeed NFF should as a matter of dignity and honor (be made to publicly) apologize to the young woman (Desire Oparanozie), The Falcons Team, The First Lady Dr Mrs Aisha Buhari and of course all Females in sports generally, for destroying (in an unintelligent piece) everything the Tournament stood for.*
*The NFF also must make their media team viable and in tune with the best practices around the globe. We can’t continue to languish in re circling old wines in a new Wineskins!

By Dr Okay-Lawrence


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