By Nduka Orjinmo
While the rest of the world was cowering at the return of the English Premiership and the Spanish La Liga on the same weekend, suffering themselves to tales of near misses, misfit signings and poorly-advised hair-cuts, I was holed up away in solitude, scowling at FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
One of the most hated men in the world, Blatter receives all the blame for anything wrong in football, directly or indirectly, but you see, my case was genuine.
I have always been a huge fan of female football.
The innocence of the goalkeepers, the naiveté of the dribbles, the cleanliness of the tackles, the joy in the celebrations, the grace in defeat.
Female football is the game in its untainted form and as a purist, I follow wherever the ladies go.
But sadly, the FIFA U-20 World Cup being played in Japan has not helped the viewing public.
The rotation of the sun means that while the ladies file in bright sunshine in Japan, I’m held captive by the whims of sleep, escape impossible after a long day of labour.
So you see why I blame Blatter, he should not have taken female football to Japan. Maybe the men, but never the ladies.
I saw replays of Nigeria’s Falconets against the South Koreans. Sadly, the Nigerian female national teams don’t appeal to me.
If not for the burnt brown hair of Desire Oparanozie, I would have sworn it was a lousy looking all-stars male football side.
When the NFA decided to discontinue its deal with Nike and go for Adidas, I thought that it would have liberated our ladies from the shambolic jerseys they play in. But no, the sportswear companies don’t extend their hatred to our kits. They are united on that front.
I dare say the Nigerian female national teams are the only ones that turn out in male jerseys for matches.
Loose fitting, insipid and unglamorous, I feel it even creates a psychological barrier for the ladies when they see their opponents better dressed.
Dress you say, but how? Well, you know the women, very little things piss them off.
Thank God they have not abandoned a match because they don’t wear uniform mascara.
At this age-grade level you would expect us to be at our strongest and the team did just that, winning 2-0 against the Koreans.
Fast forward four years from now, same teams, same players and the Nigerians will not come out victorious.
Traditionally, Nigerian ladies age faster than the men and sports is no different.
Add the extra burden of already over-aged players, and that four years meet may just be a calamity when it happens.
But those are the technicalities of the match, female football has no business with that.
The beauty of the game is in the goals and the screams. Perhaps it is only in Dubai and female football that goals are consistently scored from over 35 yards out.
The goalkeepers don’t like to stress themselves, and neither do I. it’s a game to be enjoyed from a lounging position, not the edge of the seat the male game imposes on you.
And when they do score, you just love the celebrations. Away with the men and sliding on the grass, the indecency of pulling their shirts, the dishonor of taunting opposition fans.
With the ladies, it’s an exhibition of puerile joy. They just all jump up, screaming the whole time, hugging, kissing and rolling on the grass like puppies. There is no fist pumping and all the power show associated with the men, but that genuine show of happiness.
It’s the other reason I dislike the Nigerians other than their annoying jerseys.
There is always one more annoying dance step after every goal. Very annoying.
The Alanta, Azonto and the distasteful Etigi creep into every celebration.
The fact that I have tried pointlessly to replicate these steps has nothing to do with it.
Away from the Nigerians, I agree with Blatter on the need to have charm and allure grace the ladies game.
He has proposed specially fitted shirts for the women, and I couldn’t have agreed any less.
As a cursor to what all lovers of the quintessential beautiful game should adopt, I recommend a charity football match to be played under flood lights in Paris.
One side should made up of 11 players from the WTA and captained by Maria Sharapova while the other side should have 11 players of the Brazilian female Volleyball team.
Our ladies will learn the passion of groaning from Victoria Azarenka, the energy of dresses from Serena Williams, how to run gracefully from Maria Sharapova and the joy of smooth underarms and velvety skins from Larrisa Franca and Juliana Silva.
Since it’s a charity match played by the ladies, we can afford to bend the rules here and there.
Say perhaps, playing a half for two hours. Now even you would love Signore Blatter if you pay $2000 to watch this one.