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TMC advocates equal treatment for all footballers

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Ebi Onome (right) tries to shield the ball from an opponent during the African Women Cup of Nations in Cameroun…recently. Ebi is one of the athletes being managed by the Temple Management Company.

Head of Sports, Temple Management Company (TMC), Koye Sowemimo, has appealed to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and corporate bodies to provide a level-playing field to all athletes representing the nation at various competitions.

The firm currently manages Super Falcons’ defender, Onome Ebi, tennis starlet, Marylove Edwards, athlete, Seye Ogunlewe, teenage golf star, Georgia Oboh and other athletes with the aim of transforming them into world champions.

One of its clients, Ebi, recently lamented the nonchalant attitude of administrators to women athletes, saying the female national team could win the World Cup if they were treated fairly.

Speaking with The Guardian recently, Sowewimmo said female footballers playing in the local league and those that represent the nation are not being treated fairly, while their male counterparts get all the accolades.

“Onome Ebi is the first female soccer player to sign with us among other athletes. We are not just signing talents just for the sake of it… we are actually looking to transform them into legacy building.

“How female footballers are being treated in the country is not fair. The point we are making here is that a level-playing field has to be created for everyone. As we know in Nigeria in particularly, the Super Eagles, even if we look at other sports in general, football funding has always tended to sway towards the male side of the game.

“And you can also tell that even when you look at the league, as it is, the LMC (League Management Company) are putting a lot of emphasis on the male league. But then when you look at the female league, it is really nowhere to be seen. But with the new Independent Chairperson of the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL), Aisha Falode, I believe something will be done. But it is going to take a while for anything to materialise,” he said.

While appealing to corporate bodies to do more for the growth of female football in the country in other to encourage more participation by girls, Sowewimmo said what the Super Falcons have achieved in football for the nation is more than that of their male counterpart.

“I think corporate sponsors have to look at what the women have achieved to know the true assessment of what they have done for the country. Yet, they have not necessarily been put in that limelight where they belong. They are actually the shinning light in the country.

“If we look at the corporate world in Nigeria, there is no particular one championing female sports aside from the sponsor of the female basketball. And if they can show interest in the women basketball that have not necessarily achieved as much as the female football team, then there should be another corporate body out there thinking of queuing behind the Super Falcons and the women’s league itself. I believe this will definitely get the girls excited and lead to more discovery of talents,” he said.


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