The Technical Committee on Conference Planning (TCCP) for the 2022 Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Annual General Conference has clarified the difference in the prize winnings for the male and female NBA inter-branch football competitions slated to hold between Thursday, 18th August and Tuesday, 23rd August 2022.
The TCCP said the clarification became necessary following the debate raging amongst lawyers, especially on social media, over the difference in the prizes for the victorious teams.
The TCCP had, in an earlier notice, announced N500,000 as the winning prize for the inter-branch male football competition and N200,000 for the female football competition.
This has, however, generated some tension among lawyers some of whom viewed it as discriminatory.
But offering explanation for the difference, the TCCP said the fixing of the prize winnings was dictated by prudence and realistic expectations as the sports events at the AGC were structured to fund themselves.
In a statement issued on Thursday and signed by Tobenna Erojikwe, its Chairman, the TCCP explained that the male football competition is viewed as totally distinct from the female football competition with completely different consideration, having been around for many years. On the other hand, the female football competition is being introduced for the very first time in the AGC to promote inclusiveness and expand the scope of activities at the AGC, the TCCP said.
“In providing sports activities as part of the AGC, the TCCP exercises prudence in the management of funds as such sports, if not fully funded by itself or sponsored by third parties, have to be subsidised by the NBA,” Erojikwe said in the statement with the subject”Prizes for NBA Inter-branch Female Football Competition”.
“The male football competition has been a regular feature of the NBA over the years and so it is much easier to project income derivable from the competition. For instance, last year, a total of 16 male football teams registered for the male football competition with N1,600,000 received as registration fees,” he said.
The TCCP Chairman said considering the novelty of the female football competition, it was difficult to project the amount that could be generated from it.
Therefore, in order to arrive at an informed view of the prize for the winner of the female football competition, the TCCP carried out an inquiry to determine the number of existing female football teams in the branches of the NBA.
“Our research suggested that there were only two established NBA female football teams in the country, and this informed the decision regarding the amount stated as prize for the competition,” he said.
Erojikwe said the only way the prize winnings for the female football competition could be increased was to raise the registration fees payable by branches, which the TCCP does not consider a feasible option at this time.
“The above considerations led to the decision to fix the above referenced prize winnings for the different competitions. We also deem it necessary to add that the decision to introduce female football as part of the sports events at the AGC is an important development which the TCCP is committed to having entrenched at future AGCs,” he said.
He, however, assured that the TCCP was actively seeking sponsorship for the female football competition and would raise the prize winning as soon as such sponsorship materialised. He pledged that the TCCP would dedicate every amount received as sponsorship and registration fee for the female football competition to the prize money.
“We hope that the above explanation provides context and clarification regarding the subject. We would please ask that the level of interest that has been shown regarding the female football is sustained through the conference and that we make it a competition that we can all look forward to every year,” Erojikwe said.