KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Women’s football leaders want the FIFA reform panel to include a 30pc target presence on the world federation’s decision-making committees.

Yesterday’s meeting in Zurich of the task force for women’s football could not have chosen a more apposite moment to press its case, with FIFA vulnerable amid a five-year downward spiral of scandal.

Three years ago Lydia Nsekera became the first female member of the executive committee in FIFA’s 110 years. Australian Moya Dodd and Turks and Caicos’ Sonia Bien-Aimee joined her a year later as co-opted members. Bien-Aimee now sits at the top table as a formal delegate from CONCACAF.

The latest demand for greater female power within the game and its governing bodies followed calls to action from the sixth FIFA Women’s Football Symposium, held during the Women’s World Cup in Canada.

Proposals endorsed by the task force focused in the three spheres of governance, competitions and participation, and business.

But governance is the most pressing issue for FIFA as a whole. A new reform committee, headed by Swiss lawyer Francois Carrard, is about to start preparing proposals for an extraordinary congress which will choose a presidential successor to Sepp Blatter next February 26.

Move for change

Now it has a ready-made proposal being thrust at it, including: “The [women’s] task force proposes that women in football be considered as a priority by the 2016 FIFA reform committee.

“It also proposes that FIFA issue guidelines on gender inclusiveness in football governance and management . . . that FIFA should work towards being the role model for those guidelines, which should include: a target of 30pc for women’s participation on boards and committees and in senior management roles.”

Dodd, the task force chairwoman, underlined the determination for change and progress within moves for governance reform.

She said: “It has been exciting to see the upsurge in interest for women’s football in the weeks following the Women’s World Cup but we need to ensure the momentum is maintained.

“This is a crucial time for FIFA as the reform process is set to advance in the coming months and the task force will continue to push for better gender balance in football given that it undoubtedly enhances governance and improves the game overall.”

Blatter once said: “The future of football is female.” Now the women’s task force is seizing the moment to press the point.

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