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Monday, 12 September 2011

FIFA to investigate homophobic Nigerian women's football coach

No lesbians here
By Paul Canning

The Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) say they have opened an investigation into homophobic comments made by Nigerian football coach Eucharia Uche.

In June we reported how Coach Uche, the former Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) technical assistant Sir James Peters, and the NFF's Chief Media Officer, Ademola Olajire, had all bragged to a Nigerian newspaper about driving lesbians out of the women's team.
"When I was drafted to work with the Falcons last year, I decamped some of the players, not because they were not good players, but because they were lesbians. It did not go down well with some of the players because we made sure that neither the 'husband' nor the 'wife' made the team,” Peters said.
"We have seen the result of our efforts and I can tell you that lesbianism is now a thing of the past in the camp of the Super Falcons [the team's nickname]," said Uche.
The controversy over the banning of lesbians from Nigeria's women's football team dominated coverage of their bid for the World Cup in Germany in June.

Uche told media covering the Cup that it was all a misunderstanding, saying "I'm sorry that such a situation has arisen. I've never made such statements."

Speaking to German television channel ARD during the Cup, Tatjana Haenni, FIFA's head of women's competitions, said that "FIFA is against all forms of discrimination." Haenni said FIFA would be talking to Uche about her comments and reminding the coach of the governing bodies statutes.

The investigation is promised in a letter from FIFA 5 September to the International Association of Gay and Lesbian Football (Iglfa), the Federation of Gay Games and the campaigning organisation AllOut.org.

Andre Banks of Allout.org, who led a campaign for action against homophobia in women's football which generated a 46,000 petition and protests during the Women's World Cup in Germany, said they were ""excited to see FIFA take a first, critical step."
"By launching an immediate probe into coach Uche's homophobic statements, the international governing body of soccer is sending a clear and important message: homophobia has no place in football, on or off the field."
FIFA has earlier been heavily criticised for awarding the Men's Word Cup to Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.

Last month a leading French activist urged the French government and French Football Federation to seek "a specific intervention" with 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar "so that this country decriminalise homosexuality and put an end to discrimination suffered by people living with AIDS."
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3 comments:

  1. What will be the result of this investigation? Will Uche be penalized for denying the statement he made? Who are the couple concerned? How is this related to the proposed bill banning same-sex union? Ask questions as many as possible, but you will have no answer, my spirit tells me.

    I only wish those women concerned are bold enough to identify themselves and fight for their rights. I am sure they would find football clubs around the world to take them in if they are very good and competent. But unfortunately, it is Nigeria. Gay and Lesbian are active only behind close doors and even in their minds, they are not worth standing up for. It is sad.

    Imagine the struggle going on in Nigeria about same-sex marriage. Just need to hear the comment of some flamboyant gay guys in Nigeria, "we are not oppressed", "We don't want trouble o". We are doing our own and government is doing its own" "I don't want to talk about that".

    When shall we beginning to stand for ourselves just like the Kenyans and Ugandans and others from East Africa?

    ReplyDelete
  2. "By launching an immediate probe into coach Uche's homophobic statements, the international governing body of soccer is sending a clear and important message: homophobia has no place in football, on or off the field." Haberler

    ReplyDelete

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