By Ahmed Ubandoma
The first lady, Aisha Buhari, has expressed the need for parents to encourage their children, especially the girl-child, to venture into the game of football for greater opportunities and economic emancipation.
Mrs Buhari was speaking on Thursday when she received a delegation of FIFA led by its President Gianni Infantino, who paid her a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
She urged Nigerian women not to see football as a game only meant for men or for passion, but an economic enterprise.
”Football has tremendous benefits not only on the part of the Administrators or the families of the players, but on the society at large.
”We, therefore, have a role to play as parents to change the narrative to influence and increase positive attitudes towards gender equality and development,”she said.
The first lady explained that her collaboration with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to host the ongoing Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Tournament was to promote Women’s football for greater opportunities.
“I collaborated with the NFF to promote women football in Nigeria and worldwide, through the Aisha Buhari Cup, to build on the gains achieved so far and to create additional opportunities for the girl-child,” she said.
In his response, the FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, commended the first lady for her leadership role in tackling issues associated with women empowerment, Gender-Based Violence, women and children’s rights, as well as girl-child education.
He also commended the organisers of the Aisha Buhari Women’s football tournament. ”The Aisha Buhari tournament will serve as a shining example of women empowerment worthy of emulation around the world,” he said.