Fare backs FIFA Executive Committee member proposal to address gender imbalance in football

Fare is joining over 75 athletes and NGOs, including Olympic medalists, footballers from England, Canada and the USA, to support a plan put forward by Moya Dodd, FIFA Executive Committee (ExCo) member and chair of the FIFA Task Force for Women’s Football to increase women’s participation in leadership in football.

Dodd, one of only three women on the FIFA ExCo and a rare voice as a female political appointment in sport, has submitted a proposal to Dr. François Carrard, the chairman of the FIFA Reform Committee, to address gender imbalance at FIFA and the underrepresentation and under-resourcing of womens football.

The document identifies reforms many within football believe to be crucial to bring about "harmony and transparency" to a brand that had "certainly been damaged”, Dodd told to the BBC.

The proposal ‘FIFA, football and women: why reform must specify inclusion and investment’ calls for an “opportunity to correct the most profound, long-standing and systematic injustice in sport – the exclusion of women and girls from football” through a series of recommendations which include:

• An increase in the number of female Executive Committee members at FIFA from 20% to 30%

• Full integration of womens football in the strategy and process of every FIFA member association

• Issue a strategy and plan to make football female-friendly, encouraging Confederations and member associations to adopt the plan

• Continue to develop womens football competitions to showcase the game at its highest level, improve football technically and increase the number of female coaches, referees and administrators

• Issue a declaration and guidelines for all football stakeholders to resource football at all levels without discrimination as to gender, in fair financial proportion to our participation and potential

• Develop and implement a high-growth commercial strategy for incubating and growing women’s football, and make it the highest value women’s sporting property in the world

The document also proposes that current FIFA Statues be amended to include the principle of gender equality on Article 3 among its ‘No to Discrimination and Racism’ policies.

Fare Executive Director Piara Powar said: “The recommendations made within this document are timely and come at a crucial time in the FIFA reform process. The proposals reflect the research we have conducted on the issue of the under- representation of women and ethnic minorities within European football structures.

“We fully support Moya’s proposal and have asked our members to express their views on the document. It is critical that we continue to lobby among decision-makers for a football that represents the ideals of equality and fairness at the highest levels and a leadership structure that is representative of all groups with a stake in the game.”

By pledging its support Fare joins equality NGOs and groups such as Athletes Ally and numerous athletes including Robbie Rogers of LA Galaxy, Greg Louganis, the former US diving champion and Casey Stoney, of the England Women’s national team, in promoting a drive for change at heart of the world’s football governing body.

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