Girls don't play football — Chiamaka Nnadozie says her father did not back her playing career

Chiamaka Nnadozie played well against Ethiopia (Photo Credit: FIFAWWC)

Girls don't play football — Chiamaka Nnadozie says her father did not back her playing career

Izuchukwu Akawor 11:35 - 20.10.2023

Chiamaka Nnadozie opens up on how she defied stereotypes after her father tried to stop her from playing football.

Nigeria Super Falcons goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie, has revealed how she overcame major resistance in her family to fulfil her dream of becoming a professional footballer.

Breaking barriers and shattering stereotypes is not uncommon in the world of football. Yet, each story of triumph over adversity and societal expectations stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit of those who dare to chase their dreams. 

One such inspirational journey is that of Nnadozie, the talented Nigerian football player who defied the odds to pursue her passion for the game of football despite initial resistance from an unexpected source - her own father.

Nnadozie on her father

The Paris FC star, who hails from Imo State in Nigeria, was not your typical young growing up. While many of her peers were engaging in more traditionally feminine pastimes, she was drawn to the allure of the beautiful game.

Nnadozie saved 3 penalties against Arsenal and Wolfsburg to inspire Paris FC. (Photo Credit: Paris Feminine/Instagram)

Her love for football ran deep and she exhibited remarkable skill between the goalposts.  However, the path she chose was without its challenges.

Growing up in a family of men who had tried to play football but failed, one of the most significant hurdles she faced was the skepticism and hesitation from her father regarding her decision to play football.

Nigeria goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie after the game against Arsenal. (Photo Credit: Nnadozie/X)

Speaking to America-based news platform, CNN, Nnadozie said her father did all her could to stop her as football was not for girls.

“It wasn’t very good from my family,” she said. “They never let me play, especially my father.”

Chiamaka Nnadozie was one of Nigeria's standout players in Australia. (Photo Credit: FIFA/X)

“Whenever I went to play football, he would always tell me ‘Girls don’t play football. Look at me, I played football, I didn’t make it. Your brother, he played, he didn’t make it. So, why do you want to choose this? Why don’t you want to go to school or maybe do some other things?” Nnadozie added.

Nnadozie’s triumph

In many parts of the world, including Nigeria, football has historically been seen as a male-dominated sport. Nnadozie’s father, like many others, had reservations about her daughter’s chosen path.

Chiamaka Nnadozie was an outstanding performer for Nigeria at the World Cup | Imago

Despite her father’s initial reluctance, Nnadozie did not let his apprehensions deter her from following her dreams. She persisted, honed her skills and continued to demonstrate her commitment to the sport.

Her determination and relentless dedication eventually earned her a spot on the national and global stages where her superb form has now inspired her club to the group stage of the UWCL for the first time.

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