Nigeria women were knocked out of the Women’s World Cup by England, but striker Ifeoma Onumonu took the opportunity to speak out about their poor conditions before heading home

Ifeoma Onumonu spread awareness about their poor conditions in Nigeria

Ifeoma Onumonu spread awareness about their poor conditions in Nigeria

Nigeria striker Ifeoma Onumonu has opened up about their awful treatment back home after their Women’s World Cup exit at the hands of England.

Nigeria held their own against the Lionesses, and were the better team for large parts of the knockout tie. The game went all the way to penalties after a 0-0 draw, but England were clinical from the spot and remain favourites to win the competition after defending champions USA were defeated by Sweden.

Equality between the men and women’s game is advancing at a rapid rate, with most major footballing nations offering equal pay to all athletes. But Onumonu has spoken out about how poorly the women’s team are treated by Nigeria’s Football Federation in a bid to spark change.

“I’ve seen what England has access to,” Onumonu said via the Guardian. “In Nigeria we don’t have access to much. Our training fields aren’t great. Where we sleep isn’t great. Sometimes we share beds.

“It’s not good enough. In terms of recovery, we don’t have much of any of that. We don’t have access to a gym in camp in Nigeria. There’s a lot that needs to be done. Hopefully more people will start to talk about it.

“Coming here it’s hard to adjust. We do what we can because we love playing for our country but hopefully they make it easier for us to do our best. [Back home] the [pitches] aren’t great. The grass is rocky, bumps everywhere. The stadium we play in for qualifying… you’d be surprised, I was surprised. You don’t even know where the ball is going to jump at you.

“Our under‑20s went far in their World Cup and when they were sent home they were sleeping in airports for 24 hours. That’s not acceptable. What we have to fight for is bigger for us.”

Onumonu is pushing for change within the women's game at the highest level Onumonu is pushing for change within the women’s game at the highest level (


2023 FIFA)

There have been a lot of upsets in the Women’s World Cup already, with South Africa, Nigeria and Jamaica all securing wins against huge nations. Jamaica only managed to get to the World Cup after a crowd-funding campaign, and South Africa were bailed out by a billionaire who made a late donation.

Women’s football is growing each year, but some of the unlikely success stories this summer have highlighted how far the game still has to go. Earlier this week, global players union’ FIFPRO released a statement on behalf of the Nigeria Women’s National team confirming they will assist the players in their ongoing dispute.

“Following the Nigeria women’s national team’s elimination from the FIFA Women’s World Cup, FIFPRO can confirm it is assisting players in a disagreement with the Nigeria Football Federation concerning bonus payments, camp allowances and expenses, some of which date back to 2021,” the statement from FIFPRO reads.

“During the World Cup, the players expressed the desire to remain focused on their performance without making public statements or facing other distractions. However, the Super Falcons believe that it is now time for the Nigeria Football Federation to honour their commitments and pay the outstanding amounts.

“The team is extremely frustrated that they have had to pursue the Nigeria Football Federation for these payments before and during the tournament and may have to continue doing so afterwards. It is regrettable that players needed to challenge their own federation at such an important time in their careers.

“FIFPRO will continue to work with the players to ensure their contractual rights are honoured and the outstanding payments are settled.”