FIFPRO has selected three women board members in Karin Sendel, Mila Hristova and Caroline Jonsson.
Under new statutes approved in February, the FIFPRO board will expand to 18 from 13 members in November with no more than two-thirds from either gender. The vote was the first part of a board selection process that culminates in November.
Player unions from Africa, Asia and the Americas will nominate at least one female board member each in the coming weeks.
Sendel is Israel’s national team captain, Mila Hristova is vice-president of the Association of Bulgarian Footballers, and Jonsson is a former Sweden goalkeeper who has already served on the global board since her 2017 election.
FIFPRO General Secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann said: “We are delighted to see the evolution of the board that will continue to bring not only people of deep expertise and experience but also different ages, genders and ethnicity. It is crucial that both our board – and executives across professional football – can truly identify with and represent all players.”
Bobby Barnes, President of FIFPRO Europe, said the global player union is “ahead of the curve” in professional football. “Diversity is something we’ve all been championing and we are now not just talking about it but actually seeing it in action,” Barnes said. “The new board members will bring a different perspective.”
Sendel, the first woman to chair the Israel player association, was one of 14 participants in the ‘Ready to Board’ program that FIFPRO organized with U.K.-based Women in Football this year to prepare women for senior positions in football.
Sendel said: “There’s so much research around the world showing that boards that are more diverse create better decision-making. Being an active player, I will bring new ideas to the table: I hope I can bring the voice of the players from all the different backgrounds.”
To complete the selection process in line with FIFPRO statutes, the player associations of England, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain – some of the longest-serving FIFPRO members – will each nominate a representative at a general assembly in November.