UEFA to introduce at least one woman onto Executive Committee
UEFA announced at a conference in Paris on Tuesday (22 March) that at least one woman will sit on its Executive Committee as of this month.
The governing body voted in favour of the move as a result of an ongoing UEFA and FARE initiative, proposed by the English FA in December 2009, to address the issue of a lack of representation of women and ethnic minorities within the higher echelons of football.
UEFA President Michel Platini said: “We must find a way to break the glass ceiling preventing women from reaching positions of responsibility within our organisations.
“This is a first but symbolic step towards a better representation in decision-making bodies but symbols are sometimes key to changing the way we think. UEFA has announced that at least one woman will sit on its Executive Committee as of this month.
“I am committed to moving in this direction and overcoming institutional discrimination.”
Karen Espelund, one of the highest regarded female administrators in world football, who held the post of General Secretary of the Norwegian FA for 10 years, backed the decision.
She said: “As one of the biggest social movements women must be given the possibility to take active part in all functions – not only as players.
“With this decision UEFA proves that football can be for all – on all levels. This will benefit football as such and also the legitimacy of governing bodies in the long run.”
FARE Executive Director Piara Powar commented: “This is a significant first step. To see Europe’s governing body make one place available with a commitment to build on this presence, sends a clear signal to the rest of football that the future lies in equality and genuine recognition of talent.
“Congratulations are due to those who have made this change happen within UEFA and our colleagues within FARE. We will of course continue to lobby for further change, but an idea that we thought was a distant dream has become more of a reality this week”.