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Nigeria Coach Imposes “No Lesbian” Policy in Women’s Football Team

July 17, 2011

Eucharia Uche believes some of her players are gay and says it is morally wrong. Photo credit: NYT

With the ongoing Women’s World Cup (WWC), top female football teams have captured the attention of sports fans around the globe with their exciting matches and skills. Even though they have bowed out of WWC, Nigeria’s national female football team continues to gain more buzz. Unfortunately, it is neither because of the players’ talents nor their achievements.

Eucharia Uche, who is head coach of Nigeria’s female football NT, has imposed a strict no lesbian policy in the team, sparking debate in various websites and communities. To aid her in deciding whether a member of her team is straight or gay, Uche claimed to rely on rumors and speculation.

In a phone interview with The New York Times, 38-year-old Uche said, “I came to realize [lesbianism] is not a physical battle; we need divine intervention in order to control and curb it.” This divine intervention plan from Uche includes regularly inviting Pentecostal ministers to pray with and counsel her players, Bible readings and prayer sessions.

Aside from Uche, FIFA also received the angry backlash of football fans and LGBT communities for being lenient about homophobia issues such as this. FIFA has responded that no action can be made about Nigeria’s case since no official complaints have been submitted.

An LGBT movement, All Out, has organized an online petition to call out Uche’s homophobic behavior and to encourage FIFA to be proactive about the issue. As of July 7, All Out has reported 45,000 signatures and counting.

[The New York Times]

Demand that FIFA take a stand against homophobia. Click HERE to sign All Out’s online petition.

– N.E.

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