Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Nigeria Super Falcons Are Super Phobes

When it comes to international women's football, Nigeria's Super Falcons are quickly garnering an international reputation not for the quality of their play on the football pitch, but for their transphobia and homophobia.

They are longtime African continental powers and six time AWC champs, have gone to the knockout rounds of women's Olympic tournaments and are making their sixth appearance in the FIFA Women's World Cup.

While they have come up empty handed in terms of coming home with the big prizes in international play and are competitive at the FIFA youth levels of the beautiful game, when it comes to hatin', they are the undisputed world champs..   

Back in 2008 they did loud and long gender whining about the host Equatorial Guinea team during the Africa Women's Cup tournament and claimed that Bilguissa and Salimata Simpore and team captain Anonma Genevova were men.

Karma swiftly kicked in as the ladies from Equatorial Guinea upset Nigeria 1-0 in the semis of the AWC tournament and eventually won it all on home soil.  Genevova was the MVP of that tournament and fittingly scored the winning goal in the 58th minute of their semifinal match against the Super Falcons on a free kick that Nigerian goalkeeper Precious Dede mishandled..

That episode was swiftly followed up by karma rearing its head in the case of a talented teen played named Bessy Ekaete Boniface who was discovered to be intersex and dismissed from the Super Falcons camp . 

The Super Falcons avenged their embarrassing for them 2008 loss to Equatorial Guinea by beating them 4-2 in the 2010 AWC final in South Africa to punch their World Cup ticket to Germany, but the sore winners still filed a complaint with the CAF against the Equatorial Guinea squad with the same 'that's a man' charges aimed at Genevova and the Simpore sisters.

The complaint was dismissed by the Confederation of African Football, the continental governing body of football and FIFA, but enough blood was drawn by the constant Nigerian gender grousing to where the Simpore sisters were left off the Equatorial Guinea World Cup squad.

Genevova is still the captain of the team and played in the team's opening Group D l-0 loss against Norway.

But back to the latest drama surrounding the Super Phobes, oops the Super Falcons.  

38 year old Eucharia Uche, who played for the Super Falcons in the 2007 FIFA World Cup, became the first female coach of the women's national team in 2009 in the wake of the anger in Nigeria and Nigerian Football Federation concern over the poor 2008 AWC tournament performance.

But Uche's first trip to the FIFA Women's World Cup as the Super Falcon head coach is under a controversial cloud as she admitted that she purged suspected lesbian players off the team no matter what their talent level.  She also compounded it by admitting that she used her religious beliefs and religious doctrine in an attempt to 'rid her team of homosexual behavior' which she termed in a March 16, 2001 interview in Nigeria's Daily Sun paper as a 'dirty issue,' and 'spiritually, morally very wrong.'

Well, so how did the new 'moral' Super Falcons do?

They lost their opening Group A match to France 1-0 in a lackluster performance, and oh yeah, they still have group matches coming up against the back to back defending FIFA women's world champion Germany and the CONCACAF champs Canada.

Usually, I'm rooting for teams from the Mother Continent to do well in any international sporting event.   But in the case of the Super Phobes, I'm rooting for the karmic wheel to kick in.  May they get the results they  deserve in Group A play and a long depressing plane ride back home to Abuja with the quickness. 

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