Super Falcons captain Desire Oparanozie has demanded that Nigeria’s women’s team are paid the same as their male counterparts
The Super Falcons are the continent’s most successful national side with nine titles and remain the only African team to have played at all eight Women’s World Cup finals.
Her side can expect US$3,000 for a win and $1,500 for a draw at major tournaments, while the men’s team receive $10,000 and $5,000 respectively.
“We are the most successful female team in Africa, yet we have the largest disparities between men’s and women’s pay,” Oparanozie said at the 2019 Ladies In Sports (LIS) Conference in Lagos.
“I think we deserve equal pay. This big gap tells a different story and a proper rethink of this mode of payment could also help the women’s game.”
Oparanozie, who plays professionally in France with En Avant Guingamp, believes the women’s team are on the right track in their quest for treatment that reflects their achievements and contributions to the sport.
“We have done the nation proud and I think the results over the years are there for all to see,“ she added.
“With positive results and more success, I believe we will get there, it’s one step at a time.”
The team’s impressive run at the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup in France was marred by a sit-in protest at their hotel over unpaid bonuses and allowances following a last-16 defeat by Germany.
It was not the first time Nigeria have protested over unpaid bonuses – after winning the Africa Cup of Nations in 2016, the squad staged a public demonstration in Abuja, while in 2004, they sat for three days in their hotel after winning the Africa title until allowances were paid.
Her demands reflect those of the USA women’s team who began legal action against the US Soccer Federation over equal pay in March, four months before retaining the World Cup.
Norway’s Ada Hegerberg, the reigning BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year and the first women’s Ballon d’Or in December, walked away from her national team in 2017 after growing increasingly frustrated with its set-up and what she called a “lack of respect” for female players.