FIFA questions reported Nigeria 'lesbian football ban'

Football world governing body FIFA has written to the Nigerian Football Association over claims lesbians are banned from playing football in the West African nation.

Nigerian media reports have widely quoted the head of the country's women's football league, Dilichukwu Onyedinma, as saying lesbian players would not be allowed to compete.

"Any player that we find is associated with it will be disqualified," Onyedinma was quoted as saying. "We will call the club chairmen to control their players, and such players will not be able to play for the national team.

"It is happening but we have to talk to the clubs and look inside the clubs, and these things have to do with clubs.

"There are particular clubs that don't even want to hear about it and once they heard it the players involved will be sacked."

A Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill that specifically outlaws same-sex unions is awaiting a signature from Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to go in to law.

The Bill outlaws same-sex unions.

It also bans gatherings of homosexuals or any other support for gay clubs, organisations, unions or amorous expressions, whether in secret or in public.

Same-sex couples would face up to 14 years in prison.

A ban on gay or lesbian football contravenes FIFA anti-discrimination policies and it is understood the world governing body has sent a letter to the Nigerian FA asking for clarification.

Nigeria have won the Africa Women's Championship eight times.

Image: © Getty

Copyright is owned by Africa Outlook and/or Outlook Publishing. All rights reserved.