A First: African Woman Elected to FIFA Executive
Today FIFA, football’s governing body elected a woman to become the first executive board member of this male dominated organisation.
Burundi’s Lydia Nsekera is that woman. This 45 year old was appointed to the executive committee a year ago on an interim basis as part of FIFA’s reform program. Delegates approved a new rule that adds a 25th seat on the executive committee that must be filled by a woman. Nsekera whose name means smile for me in her native mother tongue is also the president of the Burundi Football Federation and is also a member of the International Olympic Committee. She was previously co-opted to the committee, but the report states she’s the first female to win election to a full term: She collected 95 of the 203 votes ahead of Australian Moya Dodd and Sonia Bien-Aime, of Turks and Caicos Islands.
“I will inspire women to believe they can lead and I will support women in member associations.” – Lydia Nsekera
Nsekera will now serve four years on the committee. Dodd and Bien-Aime follow in her footsteps and become co-opted members with one-year terms. “It’s a historic day for football and a great day for women. Football is the sport everybody loves; no-one should be excluded. And we should not only protect the game, but also fight against discrimination outside of football.” – Moya Dodds.
Meanwhile, FIFA’s decision to postpone introducing limits on the age and length of term for presidential candidates until at least 2014 has come in for criticism from Mark Pieth, FIFA’s chief reformer. In January, UEFA proposed a an age limit of 72 for officials standing for election and a maximum of three four-year mandates. Current FIFA president Sepp Blatter, 77, has already surpassed both those limits.