FIFA's Latest Election Shows Equality Could Be A Long Way Off

FIFA elected a new council member who critics say is woefully under qualified for her position.
Posted at 10:22 PM, May 09, 2017

Soccer's international governing body, FIFA, has promised to even the playing field for women soccer players. But some of FIFA's actions have critics concerned it's not taking its promises seriously.

Take a recent FIFA Council election in Asia. Australia's Moya Dodd and Bangladesh's Mahfuza Akhter Kiron were vying to fill Asia's one designated slot for a woman representative.

Dodd lost the election, despite her concrete plans on how to reform FIFA's gender imbalance. The winner, Kiron, says this is an opportunity to help women in her region. But she doesn't seem to know much about the players she's representing.

When asked, Kiron couldn't name the reigning Women's World Cup champions, guessing Korea and Japan before settling on the correct answer, the U.S.

FIFA often contends with corruption allegations. Critics say this is the latest example of politics interfering with FIFA's ability to hire the right people for the job.

The BBC reporter who surprised Kiron wrote that her election was "an indictment of the system within football politics that allows under-qualified people to rise to positions of huge power and influence."

Women players have made some strides recently. The U.S. team just signed a new collective bargaining agreement, providing greater financial security and bettering playing conditions. But in many other parts of the world, women's soccer is a lot further behind.