While in a meeting on Sunday to discuss our final year students programmes, a football match with the Stallites was suggested and a lady replied, “that is for only guys na”. Well, uttering such statements is obviously not her fault but what she has most times seen and been exposed to. You go to stadiums, but all you see are guys doing the tussle on the green surface, you go to viewing centres, and you will be very disappointed if you set your mind on finding a lady there.
In most countries of the world especially developing ones of which Nigeria is one, Female football is really nothing to write home about, it is hardly watched, unlike the male counterparts who seem to be obsessed with the football game.
Every rule has an exception and this also is no exception, as we have seen cases of female loving this game in same measure with guys; examples are Aishat Oshoala, Perpetua Nwkocha, and the likes that have made Nigeria proud in the game. However, divided across the nation, the love of football is more among the male child than the female child.
Even most times when football lovers see a guy who does not like football, they look him as the weirdest person on earth because it sounds rare and very weird to find a male child who does not love football. Most guys are just so obsessed with football and we cannot take away that fact. But, why is this? Is it just mere psychology or exposure to certain things or societal influences? Follow me on a journey to explore few reasons why this is.
Before putting my pen to paper, I asked some football loving boys questions of why they love this sports, I was startled by some responses and also learnt through some responses. One of the reasons was passion; Most are very passionate about football. At times, your passion just hit you without even knowing why and how. You meet with some people and ask them what they love doing, some would say they loving reading, singing, chatting, cooking, etc and you ask them reasons why, they are like, “I just love it”, the same happens with football lovers, especially guys who just grew up finding themselves loving football. Passion is an extreme love for something and we suddenly develop it.
Some even gave explanation of some factors that grew passion of something in them like the organization, fun, vibes and the likes and gradually start developing the love of the game. Most guys just passionately love football.
Societal programming is also another reason and the major one. When we were younger, it was like football was inculcated in most boys and you grow up to see your father, brother, male family relatives playing or watching football and it clicked, while the ladies does not see such happening, they only see their mothers, sisters watching movies and doing things that has apparently nothing to do with the football sports.
It has been programmed in the minds of our society that as a guy, you are to learn to play football and as the lady, you play “ten-ten” and permit me to say “feminine games” and we grew up to have that in mind and pass it on to the next generation. The Nigerian society has successfully divided roles and even games even before we were born and we were born in this kind of socialization and it has played its way into our psychology and we become an active actor to play in such roles.
We are all like pencils in the hands of the society and we are often left helpless at the acceptance of the society and trying to change brings about criticism and abuses from all corners. When you try to do something as a lady and such as been programmed in the society as being something “guyish”, then you are a devil or “tom-boy” as most female players are portrayed.
Finally, football game is very beautiful and is likeable by both sex, but we have been made to believe that as a boy child, you should or must play football and even soccer games. However, this is not generally true neither is it a fact, but all we just find ourselves where we are and follow what they do. Over time, the football game has established itself as a boy’s game and I think it will continually be.

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