Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Is Super Phobes Coach Uche Really Being Investigated By FIFA?

Nigeria Super Phobes (oops Super Falcons) head coach Eucharia Uche made some startling comments during the recent 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in which she claimed during a June 26 press conference she removed lesbians off her team.

There was a subsequent June 29 meeting between Uche and FIFA's head of women's competitions Tatjana Haenni in which the anti discrimination policy was reiterated to her, and the Nigeria Football Federation made it clear she was still their coach for the time being.

At the same time this was blowing up, an Allout.org sponsored petition drive was gathering over 45,000 signatures and organizing a 'Give The Red Card To Homophobia' protest before the Women's World Cup semifinal game in Frankfurt urging FIFA to attack homophobia in the game with the same zeal they do racism in 'the beautiful game'.

The International Gay and Lesbian Football Association, the Federation of Gay Games and ALLOut.org jointly wrote a letter to FIFA President Sepp Blatter concerning the Uche situation.
FIFA and its affiliated organisations are to be commended for the kinds of strong measures taken against racism in football. Unfortunately we have not yet seen the same commitment to take action against homophobia. It is long overdue for FIFA to apply its own rules regarding discrimination, and help insulate the sport from ideological and religious interference that infringes on players rights.
That it is. The IGLFA and AllOut.org wrote press releases that were picked up in other parts of the Gayosphere claiming that a FIFA investigation of Uche has been launched, but the Federation of Gay Games says otherwise.

The Federation of Gay Games asserts on their FB page she's not being investigated, and had this to say.
Contrary to the press release from our friends at AllOut, cosigners of the letter to FIFA to which Jérôme Valcke has now (more than two months later) replied, FIFA has not decided to investigate the lesbophobic behavior of Nigerian women's football club Eucharia Uche.

We quote:

"Thus, in the event the FIFA Disciplinary Committee considers having enough evidence to be in a position to open proceedings, it will not fail to do so with the assistance of the FIFA administration."
We are puzzled by FIFA's request for us to provide information, as it is clear in our letter that the information provoking our letter came from the press. We do hope that FIFA will look into those sources, and eagerly await news of any investigation.

But we're not holding our breath...

Neither am I.  Nigeria's Super Falcons are in the middle of a two leg playoff for the remaining 2012 London Olympic Games women's qualifying tournament with Cameroon. 

They won the first leg 2-1 and play Cameroon on October 22 to decide who gets that other African qualifying spot.  

If there were any FIFA investigation of Uche, it would be big news in Nigeria, on the African continent, the FIFA website, the Confederation of African Football one and any site on the Net that tracks international football.   So far all I've been able to detect is cricket chirping silence on the issue.

I said this when I wrote about the controversy back on July 7:  
This situation with Uche admitting that she forced lesbians off the squad cries out for sanctions, but the likelihood of that happening is about the same as a certain appletini chugging gay rights orgs in the States hiring a transperson to run it.  
And so far, both scenarios are playing out.

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