BERN: Tatjana Haenni, former head of women’s football for world federation, has become the first director of the women’s game for the Swiss national federation writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The 53-year-old from Bern is the first woman to sit on the management board and, as a member of the executive committee, will be involved in all decision-making processes at the traditionally conservative SFV.

SFV president Dominique Blanc said: “The time has come to send a clear and strong signal,” about the policy of giving women’s football greater recognition and development support.

Haenni left FIFA in March 2017. She was among the middle-management strata culled in the first year of Gianni Infantino’s presidency after 18 years as director of women’s football during which she built a formidable reputation both in and beyond Swiss football.

Haenni, also president of FC Zürich Women, is a former national team player who played a major role in professionalising the domestic women’s game and professionalising the approach to development of women’s football far and wide.

The extent of her success was in maintaining support for her mission from the then FIFA president Sepp Blatter in the face of scepticism from his secretary-general Jerome Valcke.

Her last major achievement was in working to help to make a a remarkable success of the 2016 Women’s World Under-17 Cup in Jordan , the first major women’s tournament in the Muslim world.

On leaving FIFA Haenni said: “For the future, I would like all sports organisations to make efforts to promote women’s sports and the representation of women in the decision-making committees and to make available adequate resources.”

The SFV, in appointing her, appears to be moving in the right direction.