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 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.
Part of complete coverage on
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
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)
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.
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
Today's five most popular stories