Falconets Are Neglected - OJEKUNLE
Published: August 24, 2012
Falconets Are Neglected - OJEKUNLEAce broadcaster and renowned radio personality, Tokunbo Ojekunle has lamented over what he believes is a spate of lukewarm attention from Nigerian football lovers to the exploits of the female youth national team, Falconets at the ongoing 2012 FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup in Japan.

Speaking as a resource person at a sports development workshop tagged ‘We Play For Gender Equality’ in Lagos, the current station manager of Radio Continental FM noted that most Nigerians did not bother to hail the Falconets’ 1-1 draw with Brazil, as the focus was mostly on the move of Robin Van Persie to Manchester United.

With the Falconets picking a 2-0 spanking of South Korea in their first match at the female youth mundial, Ojekunle reckoned that Nigerians should have spent longer hours talking about the team’s heroics, but acknowledged that such followership is reserved only for the men’s national teams.

“The special treatment given to male sportsmen and teams, as against what their female counterparts get leaves a sore in the mouth,” Ojekumnle lamented, while admitting that similar scenarios exists in other countries the world over.

He expatiated: “The argument among media practitioners is that the followership of male sport is larger than that for females and that corporate bodies are willing to sponsor male football, without corresponding largesse for the women.”

Speaking at the same forum, a joint-venture between Search & Groom Youth For Development Centre and a German funded gender support foundation, Heinrich Boll Stifling, former chairman of Ogun State Taekwondo Association, Master George Ashiru said there is a need for an enabling law to back up the fight against sexual harassment of female footballers.

“We need a policy to serve as the basis on which we can help women state what is right or wrong, as it affects them. While stating this, women have to marshal by themselves all efforts for the emergence of that empowerment,” said Ashiru, who is now president of Nigeria Taekwondo Black Belt College.

Sam O'Femi Fasetire
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