The excitement reached its pinnacle on the final day of the inaugural Global Goals World Cup Nigeria 2023, held on Saturday, December 16th, at the Molade Okoya Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. The prestigious event witnessed the esteemed presence of Aisha Falode, Chairperson of the Nigeria Football Federation Women Football Committee and NFF Executive Committee member.
Addressing the significance of this women’s indoor football tournament, designed not only to showcase athletic prowess but also to drive positive change on a global scale, Ms. Falode expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “It is good because of our position in Africa and because of our young girls that are interested in participating in the game.”
Ms. Falode went on to emphasize the profound impact of football beyond the field, highlighting the sport’s ability to instill discipline, promote equality, and unite individuals across diverse backgrounds.
In her words, she said; “Football is the only place where you can find people playing on the dusty streets, where you can find the rich and the poor cohabiting together. Football is the only game that you can use in resolving issues of conflict, like in Gabon and Cote D’Ivoire.
She underlined football as a powerful tool for teaching life values, breaking down racial barriers, and fostering community cohesion.
In her passionate address, Aisha Falode declared, “For us to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we must incorporate the power of football, and Nigeria has a crucial role in not just paying lip service to the United Nations for our SDGs.” She stressed the need for action, advocacy, and messaging, emphasizing their pivotal role in amplifying the SDG goals.
The women’s indoor football tournament, an initiative of the United Nations, featured 20 teams representing a diverse array of entities, including the private and public sector, NGOs, civil societies, organizations, and religious bodies. The stakes were high, as the victorious team earned the honor of representing Nigeria at the 2023 Global Finals in Saudi Arabia, scheduled to take place from January 19th, 2024.
The Global Goals World Cup Nigeria 2023 served as more than just a football competition; it was a call to action, a platform for advocacy, and a celebration of the immense potential of women in contributing to sustainable development.