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Monday Round-Up: Marta's story, Nigerian women's league seeks sponsors

The Nigerian Women’s Football League is searching for sponsors to invest money and speed up player development, according to an African Press Association report.

League coordinator Danlami Alanana also revealed that some players are not getting paid on time.

“Most times, the players complain that the clubs owe them, this to some extent will affect the morale of players, so I implore club managers to pay them well and on time,” he said in the report.

Sorting out a stable league in Nigeria could help its national team get to the next level.  Nigeria has participated in all five Women’s World Cups, but has never advanced beyond the quarterfinals (which happened just once in 1999 and resulted in a loss to Brazil).  Nigeria also qualified for the this summer’s Women’s World Cup, its sixth-straight.


Newsweek has a detailed article on the trials and tribulations that Marta went through as a young player in Brazil.  Some of the background story includes details already previously explored (like Marta’s poor childhood and fight to play with the boys), but it is still a good read.  From the article:

For all her star power, Marta alone cannot change the fragile math of women’s sports.  But back home, things have already begun to turn. Although, like her, the best female players have to leave Brazil to earn a living, a quiet revolution is sweeping the back country. “The only sport that girls used to play was handball,” she says. “Now they all play football.” The beautiful game may soon find its next Marta.

Germany also has an interesting Q+A with Fatmire Bajramaj and a story on how women’s soccer in Germany has progressed over the past few decades.  And Steffi Jones said she wouldn’t be surprised to see a Germany-Norway final this summer.  The Germany part is a tough point to argue.  The Norwegians are not getting as much attention as the U.S., Sweden, Brazil and even Japan, but should certainly be included in the conversation.

Also check out this story from the Asbury Park Press on Christie Rampone’s recovery ahead of the Algarve Cup and her ambitions to win a third Gold Medal in 2012.  This summer’s Women’s World Cup will be her chance to win a second world title.  She is the only active national team player left from the 1999 triumph.


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