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SBD Global/March 8, 2013/International Football

FIFA Writes Nigerian Football Association Over Reported Ban On Lesbians

FIFA has written to the Nigerian FA over reports that "lesbians had been banned from playing football" in the West African nation, according to Brian Homewood of REUTERS. A FIFA spokesperson confirmed the letter, but emphasised that "it was a preliminary inquiry." Nigerian media reports have widely quoted Nigeria women's football league Chair Dilichukwu Onyedinma as saying that "lesbian players would not be allowed to compete." Onyedinma said, "Any player that we find is associated with it will be disqualified (REUTERS, 3/7). The BBC reported the situation "is made more complicated because homosexuality is illegal in Nigeria." Currently, a Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill that specifically outlaws same-sex unions "is awaiting a signature" from President Goodluck Jonathan to go in to law. If that occurs, "gatherings of homosexuals or any other support for gay clubs, organisations, unions -- whether in secret or in public -- will be banned, with same-sex couples facing up to 14 years in prison" (BBC, 3/7).
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