Soccer’s governing body FIFA has written to the Nigerian Football Association over reports that lesbians had been banned from playing football in the West African nation.
A FIFA spokesman confirmed the letter but emphasised it was a preliminary inquiry.
Nigerian media reports have widely quoted Dilichukwu Onyedinma, head of the country’s women’s football league, as saying lesbian players would not be allowed to compete.
“Any player that we find is associated with it will be disqualified,” Onyedinma was quoted as saying. “We will call the club chairmen to control their players, and such players will not be able to play for the national team,” she added.
Gay rights campaigners including the Federation of Gay Games, the European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation said they had written to FIFA president Sepp Blatter about the alleged ban.
We’re not in possession of FIFA query
However the Nigeria Football Federation yesterday denied ever receiving any query from FIFA. NFF assistant director, Media, Ademola Olajire told our reporter that the football house was yet to receive any such correspondent from the world football governing body.
“We are not aware,” Olajire said, in answer to our inquiry. “We don’t have any such query so I cannot comment on media reports,” he insisted.