Nasarawa-born model Miss Lillian Peter 25 has been crowned the Queen of Football in Nigeria, while Mercy Oluwanifemi Adewumi, 21, from Ondo State emerged as the first runner-up.
Adewumi automatically became the Face of Nigerian Football, while another 21-year-old model, Blessing Thomas from Delta State finished 3rd and also became Miss Super Falcons.
The winner was given a national team Jersey, a dinner gown, and native and casual wear, while all the three queens will enjoy a paid trip to Australia or New Zealand later this year.
In another development, renowned Nigerian boxer, Bashiru Ali popularly known as Bash Ali has called on the president-elect, Bola Tinubu to create an enabling environment for sports to thrive in the country.
Ali noted that Nigeria will enjoy massive revenue generation if sports are given attention as seen in the oil and gas sector
Bash Ali made this known when he addressed journalists at the sideline of the 6th edition of Football Nigeria Pageant 2023/Nigerian Ambassador Soccer Award, organised by Miss Football Nigeria Organisation (MFNO) held yesterday in Abuja.
Bash Ali said: “Developmental sporting initiative from the Federal Government in this administration is dead like every other thing in Nigeria is dead. No sector is truly working.
“But, I think with the new incoming president, I think there’s going to be a rethink and reorganization, and things will begin to become better because I have always said that every Nigerian athlete is a potential world champion.
“But the problem is do you have the enabling environment to excel. But this new administration will provide that enabling environment.
“I have met the President three times before he became the president-elect and two more times, and I’ve told him that sport was one of the biggest industries in the world and if well organised in Nigeria, we’ll be able to compete with NNPC. As NNPC brings in money, sports will bring in money and he agrees with me.”
Also while addressing the gathering, one of the awardees and a journalist with Leadership Newspapers, Tunde Oguntola, appealed to his colleagues to always put out stories and reports that will aid positively the sports sector, particularly as it relates to the girl child.
Oguntola who emerged as the 2023 Nigeria Soccer Ambassador, therefore, called for intensive training for coaches, as part of efforts to ensure that they are in line with current realities in the sports world.
“Sports is a game changer. Sports can elevate someone different from the rural area and not just the urban area but to the limelight of the person’s career in as much as he/she can defend himself/herself. We can see where the likes of Azeezat Osuala and Tobi Amusan at today because of sports. So, sports is indeed a game changer and I will urge journalists to as well give special coverage to sports development in Nigeria.
“There is a need for training and retraining for all coaches in Nigeria. Coaches in Nigeria need to be retrained. A situation whereby there should be symposiums, seminars, and workshops are organised for coaches to increase their inherent skills. You see, when you engage them critically, it builds their horizon and make them compete favourably on the global stage.”
President of Miss Football Nigeria Organization, Amb Moses Maro Ebahor, stressed promoting women’s participation in sports.
Ebahor also stressed the need to redefine Nigeria’s football to inculcate morals and values.