A Nigerian entrepreneur, Nneka Ede has become one of the few Africans to own a European club after she bought Portuguese side, Lusitano Ginásio Clube, Futebol, SAD.
Mrs Ede’s ownership of the 108-year-old team, which is in the Portuguese third division, began in June, 2020.
The development also makes her the first African woman to own a European side.
A statement from the Campeonato de Portuguese side said her ownership of the club followed months of negotiations, describing the Nigerian as “passionate and fiery about football.”
“After months of negotiations with different entities,” the club said, “an agreement has been reached with Mrs Nneka Ede, a sports enthusiast and entrepreneur from Nigeria, a country filled with people as passionate and fiery about football as us and which incidentally share the same green and white in their flags, towards the transfer of the ownership of the SAD to the latter that will help us in our mission to take Lusitano to the next level.”
According to Mrs Ede, the development opens a new chapter in her life that she hopes will deepen the sporting relationship between Nigeria and Portugal.
She also hopes her ownership of the Portuguese team will provide a pathway for the development of young talents.
“I am excited about this opportunity and I hope that this new chapter will deepen the already great sporting relations between Nigeria and Portugal, continue with the rich history of Lusitano club and provide a pathway for young talent to develop and shine through,” she noted.
Going Down Memory Lane
Lusitano Ginásio Clube, Futebol, SAD, is also called Lusitano de Évora and was incorporated as a shareholding firm in 2016.
The club is based in Évora and is the result of the transformation in 2016 of the senior side of Lusitano Ginásio Clube, a team established on 11 November 1911.
In the 1950’s, the club played 14 consecutive terms in the Primeira Divisão (First Division), and still among the 30 teams in the European country with more participation at level 1 in Portugal.
“Lusitano” is gotten from Lusitania, the Roman name for the province corresponding to the present territory of Portugal south of the Douro river and to present day Spanish region of Extremadura.
The third division team in Portugal has Fazer Forte Fraca Gente (Making the Weak Stronger) as their motto.