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Published On: Thu, Apr 23rd, 2020

My Parents Told Me That Women Do Not Play Football – Rita Chikwelu

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By Amaechi Agbo

In this exclusive interview Super Falcons versatile midfielder and Madrid CFF player, Rita Chikwelu speaks on her career and early challenges.
Speaking from her base in Spanish capital, Madird CFF, the Enugu State born footballer says that ‘in Africa, it is not easy for girls to choose football as career’
You recently celebrated your 32nd birthday, how would you describe your career?
My career at 32, I feel great, encouraged and excited. Like a fresh wine, the older I get in my career, the stronger I am. The experience has been awesome, so it has been a wonderful path.
You are among few Super Falcons players playing in top leagues in Europe, how does it feel to be a Madird CFF player?
It’s a good experience here in Madrid after many years in Sweden. It’s a good League here and new challenge for me. My coming to Madird CFF opened up a path for new things – the city, the team, the players and people around you. Everything is new and interesting.
How do you compare your experience in Sweden to that of Madird CFF?
There are no two countries that are the same. Likewise, in football, each country has its peculiarities.
Sweden was a wonderful country for me because I spent many years there. But now I am in Spain with Madird CFF and it is another wonderful place. The people in both countries are wonderful although their cultures are different.
What was it like choosing football as a career?
In Africa it is not easy for a girl child to choose football as a career.
My parents did not accept the idea. To them, it was strange. From the beginning it was not easy but as time goes on my parents accepted it because they told me that women don’t play football. But when they saw that I have passion to play football they supported me but it was not easy at all
They wanted me to go to school telling me that woman doesn’t play football
How soon will You settle down?
I have not thought of that because I’m still very much focused on my career. I work hard everyday to reach where I am now. At the right time, that will happen, anyways
What message do you have for young girls out there who aspire to be footballers like you?
My massage to them is that they should not give up in their dreams. As I said earlier, choosing football as a career by a girl child is not an easy aspiration. Your parents will not accept such at the initial time, but you need to prove to them that you have passion for the game and go for it and one day they will understand and support you.

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