In November last year The Sports Integrity Initiative published a feature piece probing into the scarcity of women found in the top jobs of sporting administrations, including those in FIFA. Later this month the election for the top job, the President of arguably the most powerful sporting institution in the world, will take place with, currently, five contenders – all male – battling it out for the top job. Of these five, only Jérôme Champagne was willing to discuss the issues. Former Presidential candidate David Ginola was another keen to put forward his vision.
Over the past few years the fight for equality between the sexes in sport has been gaining momentum. Arguments in favour of increased investment, sponsorship and media coverage in women’s sport are now being heard on multiple platforms and the efforts to implement appropriate practices are increasing.
While the on-field fight is an important one, an area in which less fanfare is made, but in which there is arguably even greater inequality, is the one found behind the scenes, beyond the glamour and glare of the spotlight – those of the sports administrators. Traditionally these roles draw little attention anyway; a smooth operation should appear as though there isn’t an administration in place at all. However with the onset of the FIFA corruption scandal, the administration of the world’s most powerful sports governing body has tumbled headfirst into the limelight.