…Aisha Falode fumes over Naija Ratels’ conduct
The NWFL Premiership Super Six began today at the University of Benin Sports complex mainbowl with the defending champions starting on the losing note to AITEO cup winners, Bayelsa Queens.
Rivers Angels started the game on a bright note with flashes of fine play and good attacks and had a penalty appeal turned down by experienced FIFA referee, Ndidi Madu, yet they kept dominating play with more attacks thrown at their opponents.
Bayelsa Queens however shocked their opponents in the 33rd minute after Joy Bokiri found herself in a good position to score from a goalmouth scramble and handed the ‘Restoration Girls’ the lead.
Rivers Angels almost got an equalizer, as Tosin Demehin’s volley inside the Bayelsa Queens penalty area was blocked by Alake Kasali to keep her team’s lead. The first half would end after three minutes of added time was played and Bayelsa Queens Coach, Moses Aduku went into the Referee’s book for misconduct.
Eight minutes into the second half, Moses Aduku made double substitutions, sending in Anjor Mary and Chinyere Igboamalu for Miracle Joseph and Kafayat Bashiru as well as Deborah Kehinde making way for Brume Ikhekua, for Rivers Angels.
Rivers Angels took over the play and piled up pressure which paid off after consistent knocking at Bayelsa Queens’ goal in the 76th minute – Rafiat Imran’s marvelling free-kick beat the wall to get into the back of the net to level the equation.
Bayelsa Queens were reduced to 10 players after Miracle Joseph’s hard tackle on Ekong Rose led to the Referee giving her the second yellow card of the game, leading to a Red Card for the defender.
Just as the game winds down on levelled term, Super Falcons forward, Monday Gift paid Bayelsa Queens for their trust in hiring her. Monday gave Bayelsa Queens a-3-point ‘Gift’ with a solo run from a counter-attack – Three points in the bag – a beautiful ‘Monday Gift’.
Meanwhile, an ugly scene showed its face as Naija Ratels FC were walked over by Nasarawa Amazons. The Abuja based Super Six debutants refused to grace the match in the TULCAN ENERGY customized jersey, rather their official jersey for the season. After so many interventions which lasted for about an hour, the centre referee performed the official walk over and Nasarawa Amazons players zoomed off in jubilation.
Reacting to the unsporting behaviour of Naija Ratels, Chairperson of Nigeria Women Football, Mrs Aisha Falode said “We told them each team will get 1 Million Naira each, 5 Million naira to the winners, #3 Million to the runners up and #2 Million to the second runners up, in total, 16 million naira is going back to the league.”
“This man who has just qualified for the league for the first time, who is playing in the super six for the first time has come to disorganized what we have done; we have a responsibility, we have a duty to the organization and those who appointed us to manage this league”.
“We have just walked them over for flaunting the rule of being the club that has not worn the official jersey. We will reorder the fixtures and move on, this is what the rule is all about.”
“If you have a shirt sponsorship, you are supposed to write to the league board and as a matter of fact, a percentage of the sponsorship is supposed to come to us, we are not aware they have any sponsorship deal”.
“The so-called sponsor is in Nigeria, we have been in touch with him, but they are not in sponsorship with him and even if they were, you write to the league and you give us our percentage and if we want to infringe on your deal, we will come to the table, that opportunity wasn’t presented”.
On if there would be stiffer punishment aside from the walkover, the ace sports journalist said, “one step at a time”.