ASUNCION: Monserrat Jimenez, a key figure in trying to sort out the running of Argentian football, has become the latest woman appointed to a key role in international football.
Jimenez, legal director of South American confederation CONMEBOL, has been appointed as interim director general after the departure of controversial Gorka Villar.
The Paraguayan lawyer had taken over as legal director when Villar – son of FIFA vice-president Angel Maria Villar – moved up to director general four years ago. He is being sought by a Uruguayan court to answer questions in a corruption case.
Fernandez is one of three former CONMEBOL presidents being sought by the United States Department of Justice in connection with the $200m FIFAGate bribery and money-laundering conspiracy investigation.
Current CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez was elected in January with a mandate to try to straighten out the football’s world oldest regional governing body.
Jimenez’s appointment is a step in that direction and remarkable in that no woman had been previously afforded any major executive role in South American football.
In June she was involved in talks which led to CONMEBOL and world federation FIFA imposing a ‘normalisation’ committee on the Argentinian FA which had collapsed into chaos following the death of long-time ‘caudillo’ Julio Grondona in 2014.
Those discussions incuded a meeting with Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri as well as the various candidates for membership of the normalisation committee.
The senior woman in world football is Fatma Samoura, a former United Nations diplomat, who was appointed secretary-general of FIFA in June.