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Calls for FIFA to increase roles for women

A collation of more than 75 athletes have called on FIFA to increase the roles of women within the FIFA Executive Committee.

The signatories include Olympic Gold medallists, FIFA Women’s World Cup winners, current and retired, men and women from different nations and athletes from a vast array of sports, from basketball to football, gymnastics to American football and ski jumping to tennis.

In the letter, it urges the FIFA Reform C0ommittee to act on the under-representation of women in FIFA by including measures to ensure 30% of FIFA ExCo positions are held by women.

“This is not only what’s fair and right. It’s also what’s best for the sport that is in dire need of reform.”

“In the 111 years since Fifa was formed women are still vastly under-represented at every level of the world’s most loved game.”

Currently only three women sit on the FIFA ExCo, the highest body in FIFA, with Burundi’s Lydia Nsekera elected in 2013 with  Moya Dodd (Australia) and Sonia Bien-Aime (Turks & Caicos) becoming co-opted members

Dodd is one of the Australian signatories alongside former and current Matildas Sally Shipard, Michelle Heyman and Emily van Egmond.

Australian tennis doubles great Rennae Stubbs and Olympic snowboarder Belle Brockhoff have also joined the calls for reform.

“Although Fifa outlaws discrimination based on gender and is a recent signatory of the Brighton + Helsinki Declaration, only three of the 26 ExCo members are women; just two of 209 member association presidents are women, and women make up less than one percent of the voting population in the Fifa Congress. This is not Fair Play,” the letter stated.

The letter also argues that the target could begin the process of a cultural shift with an organisation whose outward perception has suffered in the past decade.

“With 30%, women cease to be regarded as a special interest group and become ‘normalised’ as part of the mainstream. No wonder so many governments have targets of 30% or more women.”

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“France, Germany, Italy and Holland are among them. Further, it is still the case that many girls grow into women without having the chance to experience the joy of the game.”

“Under-resourcing reinforces the perception that football is a game for men, confining women to the margins and creating an environment for discrimination.”

The 30% target is just one of several proposals put forward by the FIFA Task Force for Women’s Football as part of a detailed plan to increase the overall participation of women in football.

FULL SUBMISSION

The submission also speaks to addressing the under-resourcing of women’s football and provides proposals in relation to governance, competitions & participation and business settled on at the 2015 FIFA Women’s Football Symposium.

The FIFA Reform Committee is set to hold its third meeting in Zurich on 19-20 November 2015, where it will consolidate its final set of reform proposals.

Chairman François Carrard will report those proposals at the December 2015 FIFA ExCo.


Full list of signatories (as at 12pm AEST)

(* Olympic Athletes)

Moya Dodd, Australia women’s football team* (retired) Anastasia Bucsis, Canada Speed Skating*
Mary Harvey, USA women’s football team* (retired) Cameron Myler, USA Luge* (retired)
Donna de Varona, USA swimming* (retired), Chairman 1999 Fifa Women’s World Cup Caryn Davis, USA Rowing* (retired)
Nancy Hogshead-Makar, USA Swimming (retired) Ginny Gilder, USA Rowing* (retired)
Mark Tewksbury, Canada Swimming* (retired) Esther Lofgren, USA Rowing*
Greg Louganis, USA Diving* (retired) Vicky LeBlanc, Canada Softball (retired)*
James Blake, USA Tennis* (retired) Rosie Cossar, Canada Gymnastics* (retired)
Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets, NBA Connor Taras, Canada Kayaking (retired)
Brendon Ayanbadejo, Baltimore Ravens, NFL (retired) Mark Tewksbury, Canada Swimming (retired)*
Michelle Akers, USA women’s football team* (retired) Connor Taras, 2011 Pan Am Kayak Silver Medalist, Canada (retired)
Amanda Cromwell, USA women’s football team* (retired) Rosie Cossar, Canada Rhythmic Gymnastics (retired)*
Lori Lindsey, USA women’s football team* (retired) Vicky LeBlanc, Canada Softball (retired)*
Carla Overbeck, USA women’s football team* (retired) Rennae Stubbs, Australia Tennis (retired)*
Cindy Parlow Cone, USA women’s football team* (retired) Eric Mitchell, Canada Ski Jumping (retired)*
Michelle French, USA women’s football team* (retired) Anastasia Bucsis, Canada Speed Skating*
Shannon MacMillan, USA women’s football team* (retired) Sinead Farrelly, Boston Breakers, NWSL
Danielle Slaton, USA women’s football team* (retired) Julie King, Boston Breakers, NWSL
Christie Welsh, USA women’s football team* (retired) Lauren Lazo, Boston Breakers, NWSL
Sara Whalen, USA women’s football team* (retired) Katie Schöpfer, Boston Breakers, NWSL
John O’Brien, USA men’s football team* (retired) McCall Zerboni, Boston Breakers, NWSL
Eli Wolff, USA Men’s Paralympic football team* (retired) Jennifer Hoy, Chicago Red Stars, NWSL
Robbie Rogers, LA Galaxy Alyssa Mautz, Chicago Red Stars, NWSL
Crystal Dunn, USA women’s football team Yael Averbuch, FC Kansas City, NWSL
Meghan Klingenberg, USA women’s football team Rachael Axon, Houston Dash, NWSL
Ali Krieger, USA women’s football team* Tiffany McCarty, Houston Dash, NWSL
Megan Rapinoe, USA women’s football team* Stephanie Ochs, Houston Dash, NWSL
Becky Sauerbrunn, USA women’s football team* Toni Pressley, Orlando Pride, NWSL
Sally Shipard, Australia women’s football team (retired) Michelle Betos, Portland Thorns, NWSL
Michelle Heyman, Australia women’s football team Keelin Winters, Seattle Reign, NWSL
Emily Van Egmond, Australia women’s football team Beverly Yanez, Seattle Reign, NWSL
Kaylyn Kyle, Canada women’s football team* Laura Harvey, Seattle Reign (coach), NWSL
Carmelina Moscato, Canada women’s football team* Amanda DaCosta, Washington Spirit, NWSL
Casey Stoney, England women’s football team* Laura del Rio, Washington Spirit, NWSL
Belle Brockhoff, Australia Snowboarding* Tori Huster, Washington Spirit, NWSL
Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, USA Snowboarding* Joanna Lohman, Washington Spirit, NWSL
Simona Meiler, Switzerland Snowboarding* Megan Oyster, Washington Spirit, NWSL
Alex Duckworth, Canada Snowboarding* Elizabeth Eddy, Western New York Flash, NWSL
Charline Labonté, Canada Hockey* Women’s Sports Foundation
Eric Mitchell, Canada Ski Jumping (retired)* Champion Women
Anastasia Bucsis, Canada Speed Skating* National Center for Lesbian Rights
Athlete Ally UltraViolet

ANN ODONG

Ann is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of TWG.
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