Oshoala: How My Parents Once Banned Me From Playing Football

Oshoala: How My Parents Once Banned Me From Playing Football

Super Falcons of Nigeria striker, Asisat 0shoala who currently plays for Barcelona [Ladies] Femeni has revealed that her parents made serious attempts to stop her from playing professional football.

As she prepares to face Atletico Madrid in a Women’s Champions League quarter-final clash on Friday, the Barcelona Femeni forward discusses life in lockdown and her roundabout route to the top.


Four-time African Women’s Footballer of the Year award winner, a scorer at two World Cups and in a Champions League final in Barcelona Femeni’s 4-1 defeat to Lyon last year and still only 25, success seems to have come easy to Oshoala.

But there have been plenty of dead
ends and missteps on her path from Ikorodu, the city north-east of Lagos where she grew up to Barcelona and the greatest battle of all was to start along it in the first place.

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“I feel like everything is happening according to time. It’s stage by stage with life, with everything,” Oshoala told Theguardian.com

Last year, she set up the Asisat Oshoala Foundation with the ambition of helping young girls from around Africa pursue a career in sport.

It is a life that was very nearly
denied to her by parents who considered football so unsuitable for their daughter that they banned her from playing on the street with her friends.

Oshoala added: “I know thousands of kids are still going through the same thing I went through when I was young she says. “Parents will say they want their kids to go to school, they don’t want them in sport, especially girls.

“I try to speak to girls, to encourage them, hold seminars with the parents, tell them to encourage their kids. You don’t necessarily have to leave football to have an education or leave education to go into sport.”

“You can always do the two together. That’s what I’m trying to preach to parents in Africa and to tell the girls that they don’t have to give up on their dreams because of society or because of the people around them.

“I tell them my own story and when they see that there is someone who has actually got something out of this process, they might go on the same path as well.”

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