Skip to main content

FIFA co-opts first woman to its executive committee

May 26, 2012 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Burundi's Lydia Nsekera is becoming an influential figure with both FIFA and the International Olympic Committee.
Burundi's Lydia Nsekera is becoming an influential figure with both FIFA and the International Olympic Committee.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Burundi's Lydia Nsekera co-opted to FIFA Executive Committee
  • Nsekera first woman member of the world governing body's decision making body
  • South Sudan admitted as FIFA's 209th member
  • Decision delayed on whether to allow Kosovo to play friendly matches

(CNN) -- Burundi's Lydia Nsekera became the first woman to be co-opted on to FIFA's executive committee as the Congress of the world governing body ratified her appointment Friday.

The 45-year-old Nsekera is currently president of the Burundi Football Association and is also a member of the International Olympic Committee.

The former basketball player and high jumper has made a rapid rise through the ranks of sports administration since becoming involved in the running of a women's football team in 2001.

A graduate of the University of Burundi, Nsekera has been a member of the organizing committee for the Olympic football tournaments and has been widely credited with reforming her own football federation after years of turmoil.

Her appointment comes as FIFA embarks on a reform program in the wake of recent corruption scandals.

A campaigner for women's rights, Nsekera is keen to be a role model for others to follow.

"Women have to understand that they have a role to play off the pitch, that they can easily take on responsibilities and become leaders. Men need to accept that too," she told FIFA.com.

"In Africa, no one thinks that women are cut out to be leaders, especially in football. So it's been a long process for me to find acceptance," she added.

The FIFA Congress sitting in Budapest, also admitted South Sudan Friday as its 209th member.

The decision comes just under a year after it declared independence and joined the United Nations.

South Sudan and Sudan have been involved in a lengthy conflict, but peace talks between the two nations are due to resume next week.

But FIFA delayed a decision on whether to permit non-FIFA member Kosovo to play friendly matches against member federations.

FIFA's executive committee had given Kosovo the go-ahead earlier this week, but Serbia launched a protest at the move.

Kosovo is a former Serb province and that fought a two-year battle for independence.

It is still not recognized by Serbia.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1858 GMT (0258 HKT)
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1012 GMT (1812 HKT)
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1435 GMT (2235 HKT)
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa line up in their tuxedo kit.
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1229 GMT (2029 HKT)
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1656 GMT (0056 HKT)
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1828 GMT (0228 HKT)
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
ADVERTISEMENT