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Ex-Falcons’ Okosieme, Igunbor for Betsy Obaseki Cup draws

Two retired Super Falcons superstars, Nkiru Okosieme and Okuwa Igunbor will be on ground on Sunday, September 26 at New Festival Hall, Government House, Benin City to pick and conduct the draws ceremony for the First edition of the Betsy Obaseki Cup.

The Local Organising Committee of the event headed by Mrs. Sabina Chikere, disclosed that 12 top women’s league clubs in Nigeria will battle for the Betsy Obaseki Cup title with the theme, ‘Promoting The Girl Child’ at four different venues in Benin City – the School of Health Technology, Uniben Sports Complex, Western Boys High School, with the opening ceremony, the semifinals and finals to be played at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City.

In the words of member Main Organising Committee of the Betsy Obaseki Cup, Hon. Frank Ilaboya, Nkiru and Okuwa who are household names in  women’s football in Nigeria and across the world were specially invited for these roles to encourage and promote the girl child in the area of sports and education.

He noted that for Nkiru Okosieme, until she retired from international football after the USA 2003 World Cup, she played for Nigeria at the China 91, Sweden 95, USA 99 and USA 2003 Fifa Women’s World Cups and the 2000 Olympic Games soccer event. And before her retirement from active football, she was the longest serving Super Falcons player and most educated in the team with a PhD Degree in Health Administration from Clayton State University, USA, where is a 2014 Hall of Fame winner. She won three Africa Women’s Nations Cup titles in 1998 and 2000 and 2002. She also played in the American Women’s League the biggest in the world at the time.

Okuwa was a first generation Nigerian women’s footballer instrumental to the country’s first women’s Nations Cup title in 1991, as a top striker and the country’s inaugural qualification for the China ‘91 World Cup. She also played at the Sweden ‘95 World Cup and all the qualifier matches for the USA ‘99 World Cup but got injured few months to the World Cup.

Okuwa, who hails from Edo state, is a Guinness Book of Record holder as the scorer of the fastest goal in a Fifa Women’s World Cup qualifiers match against the Black Queens of Ghana in 1991 in just 26 seconds.  A graduate of Business Administration from the Lagos State University and a former assistant coach of the national U-17 and U-20 Women’s teams, the Flamengoes and Falconets. She is a founding member of the Police Machine Football team and Chief Coach of the team. She is one of the prides of the Nigeria Police Force in sports, aside from Chioma Ajunwa and the late Sunday Bada.

The 12 participating teams are eight first class NWFL Premiership clubs which include two former champions of the league and four first class NWFL Chamionship teams – Rivers Angels, Bayelsa Queens, Edo Queens, Sunshine Queens, FC Robo Queens,  Royal Queens,  Confluence Queens, Naija Ratels, Kaduna Queens, Heartland Queens, Fortress Ladies and Rolly FC.

The opening ceremony has been scheduled for the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium on September 27 while the final and closing ceremonies hold on October 3.

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