By Duro Ikhazuagbe
As the 2020/2021 Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) Premier League season kicks off today with the opening game between Nasarawa Amazons and FC Robo of Lagos at the Lafia Township Stadium, history will be made as the country’s women’s game partners the United Nations Women.
It is the first of its kind in the history of Nigerian football.
The UN is using the NWFL platform to drive its #SafeHome Campaign.
The platform will enable the Nigeria Football Federation and UN Women to advance issues pertaining women’s rights and gender equality in football and sports, and also to harness the influence of footballers to address prevention of violence against women and girls.
The UN Women Country Representative, Ms. Comfort Lamptey, and her team are expected to be present at this historic, groundbreaking event in Lafia, Nasarawa State.
The new season starting today with a total of eight fixtures spread across the country is a straight league format that would see robust action for 26 weeks with a total 182 matches.
The eventual champion and runners up, will qualify to represent Nigeria in the inaugural CAF Women Champions League.
The fixture in Lafia between Amazons and Robo is a replay of the 2018 edition that ended goalless.
The host team under the watch of Falconets coach, Christopher Danjuma
will be going into the match today without their ever-reliable forward, Anam Imo, who moved to Rosengard of Sweden. Imo is currently on loan at Pitea, another Swedish outfit.
FC Robo too are going to be without the presence of their Captain Rasheedat Ajibade, a one-time joint-top scorer of the NWFL Premier League who took her trade to Norway’s Avaldsnes in search of greener pastures.
Another star also missing from the FC Robo line up today is Chidinma Okeke who is now with Real Madrid CFF in the Spanish topflight.
With so much support from the Nasarawa State government, and the experience of Coach Danjuma, the Amazons will definitely want to hit ground running in this opener at home.
However, wether the visitors from Lagos will want to give up easily in this all important opening game remains to be seen.
Their coach, Emmanuel Osahon, is a great grassroots tactician. He must have replaced both Ajibode and Okeke with players worthy to put on the blue and white colors of FC Robo.
The bench of both teams may turn out the ultimate decider of this clash in Lafia this afternoon.