There have been several occasions in the past when FIFA has been listened saying that whatever a player does in a private room, is his personal matter. It includes player’s sexual preferential as well. Recently, Nigeria Women’s Professional League chairperson Dilichukwu Onyedinma said through a newspaper that any player who is found indulged in lesbianism will be disqualified. Such a personal attack is taken seriously around the world; hence many reputed organizations wrote a joint letter to FIFA general secretary Jérôme Valcke asking its intervention on the matter. The organizations which signed the letter include presidents of the Federation of Gay Games, European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation, Football v Homophobia, and AllOut.org. The letter took the references of FIFA president’s speech where he said, “sexual orientation of a player or coach is a private matter. People have to be able to live their lives free from all forms of discrimination.”
Likewise, FIFA’s code of conducts also mentioned something similar which reads as, “persons bound by this Code may not offend the dignity or integrity of a country, private person or group of people through contemptuous, discriminatory or denigratory words or actions on account of race, skin colour, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, language, religion, political opinion or any other opinion, wealth, birth or any other status, sexual orientation or any other reason.”
Actually, there have been many parallel complaints FIFA received during last women world cup when Nigerian coach allegedly ignored players assumed them to be lesbians, though, FIFA did not take those complaints seriously until Nigerian chairperson himself accepted their discrimination through as interview. Chairperson Dilichukwu Onyedinma further said in his interview, “We will call the club chairmen to control their players and such players will not be able to play for the national team. There are particular clubs that don’t even want to hear about it and once they hear it the players involved will be sacked.”
Taking these complaints earnestly, now FIFA has asked for a clarification from Nigerian Women’s Professional League chairperson to explain why she has done something which is clearly in violation of FIFA’s code of conduct. Notably, if she is found guilty of deliberately violating such codes, it would be very difficult for her to retain her position considering the uproar her interview has created. For the time being, she is stuck to her statement without any grief to whomsoever it was related.