An Awful Piece of Publication to a Good End of a Tournament

September 22 08:43 2021

BY COACH Ezindu Okay-Lawrence.

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 and composed South African Ladies). But overall from my view it was a well planned, publicized and executed tournament and one which football managers of every level and the 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 SuperSports’ 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 tournament was captivating, 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 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 GOOD”. The theme was very fitting for a time as this in our nation and the attention it garnered was encouraging. Kudos to every girl child that has risen against the cultural and societal restrictions, to be able to stake a 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 sore taste to the good end of a well organized and publicized event. The NFF released this statement after the game

France-based forward Desire Oparanozie was most awful on the evening, squandering a half-dozen opportunities, easily conceding possession and literally playing against her own team

The Super Falcons created created chance after chance, but Oparanozie WASTED THEM ALL, choosing a big day to put EVERy foot wrong and shockingly lasting the entire 90 minutes on the park

If the tournament 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 ans DISRESPECTING THE GIRL CHILD in the person of our own DESIRE OPARANOZIE, a former Super Falcons’ Captain and one Girl Child who 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. I call on all sports writers, female sports writers, women 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 footballers at one time or the other have bad days 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 and MALIGN a young woman who have sacrificed her sweat and blood for the same National Team she is being destroyed for, one who still has a professional career running as we speak.

Olajire did 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 did not 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, and 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, apologize unconditionally to the young woman (Desire Oparanozie), The First Lady Dr Mrs Aisha Buhari and of course all women in sports generally, for destroying (in an unintelligent and sadistic 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 recircling old wines in a new wineskins!

God gave me 3 precious daughters and I would not for any reason allow anyone MALIGN them. NEVER

So NFF should for no reason, malign our collective daughter. It is despicable and unacceptable


-Coach Dr. Okay-Lawrence (ACFF)
Grassroots Football Development Coach/Instructor.

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