The 2016/17 Nigeria Women Football League season will get underway on Saturday (today) with a star match at the Akure Stadium.
The season opener will feature Sunshine Queens against Ibom Angels while the other fixtures for the first week of the new season will hold on March 29.
With the withdrawal of Lagos based COD United Ladies, the 15 teams in the league will play in two groups. Group A has Sunshine, Ibom Angels, Rivers Angels, Robo Queens, Heartland Queens, Capital City Doves and Bayelsa Queens. Group B has Nasarawa Amazons, Osun Babes, Delta Queens, Confluence Queens, Adamawa Queens, Edo Queens, Pelican Stars and Saadatu Kolo Amazons.
The NWPFL during the week gave leave to the players of the disbanded COD Ladies to seek new clubs where they will play for the new season.
Much is expected from the new board of the NWPFL led by CAF media committee member, Aisha Falode.
They are expected to ensure a successful organisation of the league without the rancour which greeted the previous seasons of the league. They are also tasked with the development of the women’s segment of the sport.
Falode believes the task is achievable but will take a while.
“It’s our duty to look at the structure and see how women’s football in Nigeria gets the needed attention and affinity with the audience. Women’s football has what it takes to enjoy some feasibility with the men’s game but it’s going to take a while,” she said.
“The point is that everyone believes we have done the same thing over and over again. It’s time to adopt a new approach when going forward. We need to look at a new strategy that we think would work. That’s basically what this new board is all about.”
She added, “In the past the league didn’t have a stable calendar and clubs weren’t obeying the laid down rules and regulation. The game is all about rules and regulations. We will continue to dialogue with clubs and hope that they come through the open door of our good intentions for the league for clarification on grey areas.”