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FIFA's gender reforms are turning into a farce.

By Grant Wahl
May 09, 2017

FIFA passed a big reform package last year that included gender reforms, which require that each continent have a seat on the FIFA Council filled by a woman. But the men who vote for those positions—and 209 of 211 national federation presidents are men—are turning those gender reforms into a farce.

On Monday, Australia’s Moya Dodd, the most influential woman in FIFA in recent years, lost her election in Asia by a 27-17 margin to a largely unknown female candidate from Bangladesh who was asked to name the most recent Women’s World Cup champion and couldn’t do it on her first two tries.

When contacted, Karen Espelund, a Norwegian former UEFA executive who lost her own election not long ago, said it’s tremendously unfortunate that women with strong voices like Dodd are losing in elections in several continents under the new “reform” package.

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