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Quotas should be introduced to increase the number of women in top football positions

Category: Industry News

women in football

Quotas should be introduced to increase the number of women in top football positions according to panelists who attended the first FIFA Women's Football and Leadership Conference.

To mark International Women's Day, several experts convened at FIFA headquarters in Zurich to discuss ways of creating more opportunities for women.

"Equality among men and women is far from being achieved," said Burundi's Lydia Nsekera, the first woman to become a full member of the FIFA Executive Committee.

"We must have more women in the congresses of the associations and in the congress of FIFA. I would like to call on all women to work hard, with men, to overcome the existing obstacles."

FIFA President Blatter said it was FIFA's duty to provide more roles of responsibility for women.

"More than 30 million girls and women play football around the world," Blatter told the conference. "It is our duty to make sure that there is equal opportunity for all across our member associations."

Australia's Moya Dodd (pictured), one of the co-opted female members of FIFA's executive Committee, backed the idea of quotas.

"In a perfect world, quotas would not be necessary," Dodd said. "I'm a believer in quotas because you get the benefits way sooner than you would otherwise. I would not be here if it were not for quotas."

The conference featured contributions from a number of experienced officials, former players and coaches. "We need more females front of house, leading the game," said former England head coach Hope Powell. "If you haven't got the opportunities to give them, they are going to leave the game."

Meanwhile, in FIFA's weekly magazine, Blatter called on Iran to start allowing female fans to watch games.

Blatter says he raised the subject of women being banned from stadiums during a trip to Iran in 2013.

"I raised the topic at my meeting with President of Iran Hassan Rouhani, and came away with the impression that this intolerable situation could change over the medium term. However, nothing has happened," Blatter wrote. "This cannot continue."

"Hence, my appeal to the Iranian authorities: Open the nation's football stadiums to women!"

Iran is bidding against the United Arab Emirates to host the 2019 Asian Cup and the ban on women is expected to damage the former's chances.

At this year's Asian Cup in Australia, Iranian players were reportedly threatened with punishment back home if they took selfies with female fans attending their games after pictures emerged on social media. Iranian female fans showed up in numbers at stadiums during the tournament.

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