By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau
The highly anticipated 2023/2024 Nigeria Women’s Football League (NWFL) Premiership season will commence today with an interesting clash between last year’s champions, Delta Queens FC of Asaba and debutante, Ekiti Queens, at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado-Ekiti.
According to NWFL Head of Media, Samuel Ahmadu, the match involving Ekiti Queens and Delta Queens will be the only tie billed for Tuesday while the remaining fixtures are slated for Wednesday across Nigeria.
He also disclosed that arrangements have been concluded to ensure a hitch-free match between the emerging talents Ekiti Queens and the league reigning champions, Delta Queens who are one of the top women’s football clubs in Nigeria, pointing out that logistics needed for the encounter have been delivered.
Ahmadu hinted that the President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Ibrahim Musa Gusau will be in Ado-Ekiti to show his commitment to the development and promotion of women’s football in Nigeria and show support to the NWFL Chairperson Ms Nkechi Obi who is working so hard to reposition the league for the better.
First Lady of Ekiti State, Dr. ( Mrs) Yemisi Oyebanji who is the Chief Host will be at the stadium with her entourage to support Ekiti Queens to do battle against their more illustrious opponents from Delta state and perhaps her presence may motivate the home team to grind out a win in their first-ever NWFL Premiership match.
The season opener in Ado-Ekiti today is expected to be broadcast live on AfroSport, making it the first time in the history of women’s football in Nigeria an opening league match is broadcast live.
Meanwhile, Delta Queens, who won the 2023 Super Six Tournament in Asaba earlier in the year and with unprecedented winning streak of the league since 2022, are eyeing their seventh domestic title and enter the season opener with unwavering determination under the guidance of Tosan Blankson.
Ekiti Queens, fresh from their promotion through the NWFL Championship, are poised to upset the hierarchy and showcase their mettle against the seasoned champions in their debut at the elite level.
The home team’s remarkable journey through the NWFL Championship and their impressive showing at the recent Besty Obaseki Cup foretell a competitive spirit that aims to shake up the established order in Nigerian women’s football.
Coach Taiwo Moses of Ekiti Queens has expressed his confidence ahead of the showdown, arguing, “We are prepared and determined to secure victory against the league champions.”
In response, Tosan Blankson, manager of Delta Queens, acknowledged the challenge posed by the newcomers but remained steadfast in the pursuit of defending the title, acknowledging, “Victory is assured; they will be respected.”