DILICHUKWU Onyedinma, chair of the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) is reportedly heading for a clash with Fifa, football's world governing body, following her recent statement in which she said lesbians are now banned from playing football there.
She has been quoted as saying:
Any player associated with it [lesbianism] will be disqualified.
According to the BBC, while contravening Fifa's anti-discrimination policies, the situation is made more complicated because homosexuality is illegal in Nigeria.
Currently, a Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill that specifically outlaws same-sex unions is awaiting a signature from president Goodluck Jonathan to go in to law.
If that occurs, gatherings of homosexuals or any other support for gay clubs, organisations, unions – whether in secret or in public – will be banned, with same-sex couples facing up to 14 years in prison.
In a speech at the NWFL's recent annual general assembly, Onyedinma is reported to have said that lesbian players would no longer be eligible for the Nigeria women's national team and would "be sacked" from their club sides.
Olajide Fashikun, writing for Gong News, slammed Onyedinma's statement, saying:
This is an infringement of the rights of the players.
The writer added:
The values of one person cannot and should not be forced on another person. Citing the Bible in this instance is making a mockery of God.
Unfortunately Fashikun knows lamentably little about homosexuality. This became clear when the writer asked:
Candidly speaking, what is the problem of the club or the league with the private life of an athlete who decides to be a lesbian?
DECIDES to be a lesbian? Gimme a break!
The writer compounds this fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of homosexuality by stating:
Methinks, candidly speaking, despite that as an individual, I DO NOT SUPPORT same sex relationships but for those who derive joy from it, it is their choice and their rights to choose should be respected.
Fashikun, my darling, I salute you for pointing out the madness of this decision and I respect your non-support of same-sex relationships, but you really do need to get a better understanding of human sexuality if you want to be taken seriously as a commentator.
Hat tip: Leo Igwe