Dieke with Scotland in September 2014
|Full name||Ifeoma Nnenna Dieke|
|Date of birth||25 February 1981|
|Place of birth||Amherst, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|Height||5 ft 5 in (165 cm)|
|1999–2002||FIU Golden Panthers|
|2009–2010||Chicago Red Stars||19||(0)|
|2011||→ Apollon Limassol (loan)|
| * Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 23:21, 12 December 2018 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23:21, 12 December 2018 (UTC)
Ifeoma Nnenna Dieke (born 25 February 1981) is an American-born, Scottish football defender, currently playing for Apollon Ladies F.C. of the Cypriot First Division. She previously played for several professional clubs in Sweden and the United States. Between 2004 and 2017, she won 123 caps for the Scotland women's national football team. Dieke was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, to Nigerian parents, moving to Cumbernauld in Scotland when she was three years old.Dieke and fellow Scot Kim Little were the only non-English players selected in the Great Britain squad for the 2012 London Olympics.
Americans are nationals and citizens of the United States of America. Although nationals and citizens make up the majority of Americans, some dual citizens, expatriates, and permanent residents may also claim American nationality. The United States is home to people of many different ethnic origins. As a result, American culture and law does not equate nationality with race or ethnicity, but with citizenship and permanent allegiance.
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain, with a border with England to the southeast, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, the Irish Sea to the south, and more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.
Dieke started her football career when she was eight years old, playing for her primary school St Mary's. She later joined Cumbernauld Cosmos, from where she moved to Cumbernauld Ladies.In 1999, she was awarded a scholarship by Florida International University, playing for the university's FIU Golden Panthers women's soccer team. She graduated in 2003 and joined Women's United Soccer Association side Atlanta Beat. She started eight of 13 regular season games and scored one goal. The league folded at the end of her first season, and Dieke later played in Sweden (for QBIK in 2007 and for Kristianstads DFF in 2008) and Cyprus.
Florida International University (FIU) is a metropolitan public research university in Greater Miami, Florida. FIU has two major campuses in Miami-Dade County, with its main campus in University Park. Florida International University is classified as a research university with highest research activity by the Carnegie Foundation and a research university by the Florida Legislature.
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In 2009, she joined the Chicago Red Stars.In the inaugural 2009 Women's Professional Soccer season, Dieke appeared in 14 games. She received a red card for foulling Kelley O'Hara during the Red Stars' 2–0 defeat at FC Gold Pride in May 2010. The following month she was allowed to move to Boston Breakers on a free transfer. She started 12 of her 13 appearances for the Breakers in 2010, scoring one goal against her former employers Chicago, for whom she had made five early season appearances.
The Chicago Red Stars is a women's professional soccer club based in Chicago, Illinois, who compete in the National Women's Soccer League and play their home games in SeatGeek Stadium. The team was a founding member of Women's Professional Soccer, and played in the league in 2009 and 2010. After leaving the WPS in December 2010, due to financial issues, the team reorganized and joined the Women's Premier Soccer League for the 2011 season. In 2012, the team co-founded and competed in Women's Premier Soccer League Elite, the single year this league existed. In the fall of 2012 the Red Stars with the Boston Breakers and US Soccer, attracted 6 other teams and founded the National Women's Soccer League. Since 2013 the team has been competing in the National Women's Soccer League. From 2015-2018 the Chicago Red Stars have made the playoffs of the NWSL and are the first and only team to do so for four consecutive years.
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During the WPS offseason in 2011, Dieke joined Cypriot club, Apollon Limassol on loan from Boston Breakers.The WPS folded ahead of the 2012 season and Dieke returned to Sweden, signing for Damallsvenskan newcomers Vittsjö GIK. Despite missing almost the entire 2013 Damallsvenskan season through injury, Dieke was given a new contract by Vittsjö ahead of 2014.
In sports, a loan involves a particular player being able to temporarily play for a club other than the one he or she is currently contracted to. Loan deals may last from a few weeks to all season-long and can persist for multiple seasons.
The Boston Breakers was an American professional soccer club based in the Boston neighborhood of Allston. The team competed in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL). They replaced the original Breakers, who competed in the defunct Women's United Soccer Association, as the Boston area's professional women's soccer team.
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In January 2018, Dieke left Vittsjö after six seasons. In search of a new challenge, she joined newly-promoted Damallsvenkan club IFK Kalmar.The move was not successful and with Kalmar adrift at the foot of the league table, Dieke was dropped from the team and released during the mid-season break. It was reported that she was unhappy at Kalmar's failure to strengthen their playing squad. She returned to Apollon in September 2018.
In sports leagues, promotion and relegation is a process where teams are transferred between multiple divisions based on their performance for the completed season. The best-ranked team(s) in the lower division are promoted to the higher division for the next season, and the worst-ranked team(s) in the higher division are relegated to the lower division for the next season. In some leagues, playoffs or qualifying rounds are also used to determine rankings. This process can continue through several levels of divisions, with teams being exchanged between levels 1 and 2, levels 2 and 3, levels 3 and 4, and so on. During the season, teams that are high enough in the league table that they would qualify for promotion are sometimes said to be in the promotion zone, and those at the bottom are in the relegation zone.
IFK Kalmar is a football club based in Kalmar, Sweden. The team plays in the second tier women's soccer league in Sweden, the Elitettan.
Dieke was eligible to represent either Scotland, the United States or Nigeria at international level.She made her Scotland debut in January 2004 against Greece and earned her 50th cap against Northern Ireland in May 2009.
As the governing body of association football, FIFA is responsible for maintaining and implementing the rules that determine whether an association football player is eligible to represent a particular country in officially recognised international competitions and friendly matches. In the 20th century, FIFA allowed a player to represent any national team, as long as the player held citizenship of that country. In 2004, in reaction to the growing trend towards naturalisation of foreign players in some countries, FIFA implemented a significant new ruling that requires a player to demonstrate a "clear connection" to any country they wish to represent. FIFA has used its authority to overturn results of competitive international matches that feature ineligible players.
The Scotland women's national football team represents Scotland in international women's football competitions. Since 1998, the team has been governed by the Scottish Football Association (SFA). Scotland qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup for the first time in 2019, and qualified for their first UEFA Women's Euro in 2017. As of July 2019, the team was 22nd in the FIFA Women's World Rankings.
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In October 2008 she scored an own goal in a UEFA Women's Euro 2009 qualifying play-off against Russia in Nalchik. The tie finished 4–4 and Scotland were eliminated on the away goals rule, much to Dieke's disappointment: "It hit off my shin, and for me that was the one that knocked us out because it was an away goal. I was beating myself up quite a bit for that."
In 2012 Dieke was selected for a place in the Great Britain team at the 2012 London Olympics.Along with Scotland teammate Kim Little, Dieke was one of only two non-English players in the squad. She played alongside Casey Stoney in central defence, but suffered knee ligament damage in the second group match and had to withdraw from the squad. Medical tests showed that she had ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament, which prevented her from playing in the remainder of Scotland's UEFA Women's Euro 2013 qualifying matches.
After missing almost two years of international football due to the injury, Dieke was recalled to Scotland's squad for the 2014 Cyprus Women's Cup.That October she won her 100th cap in Scotland's 2–0 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification – UEFA play-offs defeat by the Netherlands in Rotterdam.
Dieke remained in Scotland's team for UEFA Women's Euro 2017 qualifying. With teammate Jo Love, she was awarded a special cap in October 2015 as part of a UEFA-backed programme to honour players with 100 or more appearances for their national teams.
When Scotland secured qualification for their first ever major tournament at UEFA Women's Euro 2017, after several near misses, 36-year-old veteran Dieke announced that she would be retiring from international football afterwards.She played in all three games as Scotland made a limp group stage exit, then confirmed her decision to retire the following month.
Team GB coach Hope Powell said of Dieke: "Ife's a great defender one-v-one. She probably prefers a centre-half role but can play anywhere along the back."Writing in The Herald in 2017, sports journalist Alan Campbell described Dieke as: "[a] quick and tactically astute central defender".
Dieke is often referred to by the hypocorism "Ife" (or "Iffy").She can speak the Igbo language.
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Ifeoma Dieke, winning her 100th cap, a rock in defence
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