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Jubilation as female football returns in FCT

Years after the disbanding of the FCT Queens, the female football team in the Federal Capital Territory, efforts is being made to establish a new and formidable female team capable of creating employment for the teeming talented female football players in the FCT.

Recall that FCT female football team in the past had recorded more success and brought more national honour to the FCT than that of the male counterpart.

This however, was in conformity with the directives of the Minister, Mallam Mohammed Bello, who saw reasons in empowering the youths of the FCT instead of prostitution.

In order to build a formidable team in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the process through the sports department and the FCT Football Association began with the registration of seven grassroots teams from the six Area Councils for the maiden 2017 FCT Women League, through which quality players are to be selected.

The structure of the league is such that registered teams are grouped into Groups A and B. While there are four teams in Group A, Group B consists of three teams. The league will be played on home and away basis with the two top teams from each group qualifying for the knockout stages.

The two clubs in the knockout stages will face each other in the final which comes up in later this year. The fixtures for tournament were drawn on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 inside the conference room of FCT Sports Council.

Pitted against one another are Liberty Angels, Civil Defence Amazons, FC International, and Excellence Queens in Group A while Emmanuel Queens, Oyela Queens and Beautiful Tours make up Group B. In the opening matches, FC International humiliated Liberty Angels 6-0 while Civil Defence Amazons FC defeated Excellence Queens 2-0.

Acting Director of FCT Sports Council, Mrs. Dilichukwu Onyedinma, who spoke after the curtain raiser match at Area 3 playing ground, said: “One of the reasons for organising this tournament is to build a formidable female team in FCT that will eventually represent Abuja at competitions such as National Sports Festival.

The competition is designed to discover young and talented girls in the six Area Councils. We are determined to ensure that the female football competition does not stop abruptly. The sports administrator praised FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, for his financial and moral support.

Her words: “We must give kudos to the FCT Administration and the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Babatope Ajakaiye, for their support and encouragement in making sure that the competition comes to reality. The FCT Women League is targeted at the discovering new talented female footballers in Abuja and ultimately reduce the rate of crime and social vice.

I am very grateful that FCT Administration has taken this bold step by making provision for jerseys and balls for the registered teams. This is the beginning of many good things that will happen to women football in Abuja and the female national team.

Speaking earlier, FCT Football Association (FA) chairman, Alhaji Musa Talle, assured that the competition will be sustained even though there is no sponsor from the private sector for now. He said: “I must commend FCT Sports Council Ag. Director, Mrs. Dilichukwu Onyedinma, for her support. The inaugural edition of FCT Women League is aimed at raising a formidable female team for FCT that can compete in the female National League.

And more importantly to discover and raise players that will wear the national team jersey. I want to seize this opportunity to thank the FCT Administration and Sports Council for the wonderful support and contribution they gave to us and ensure that we go ahead to start this competition.

This is the first of its kind not only in Abuja but Nigeria. It is going to be an annual event as a platform to search for raw talent and that is why we involved all the six Area Councils so that no one will be left behind.

Chairman of Women Development Committee of the FA, Barrister Victoria Nlemigbo, who also spoke, reiterated that the competition will be of enormous benefit to both the nation’s capital and Nigeria as a country.

She said: The FCT Women League has just been introduced to unearth raw talent and also to bridge the gap between the space of discovering young talented and retiring players, and also to put the discovered players together and nurture them. FCT has a female team in the pro-league but in the national league there is none and that is why this kind of competition is flagged off to get a formidable team that can represent FCT in the Nigeria Women League (NWL).

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