Mahfuza Akhter Kiron of Bangladesh was elected to FIFA’s Asian Football Council today, occupying one of six places on the council that are specifically reserved for a woman. She defeated Australia’s Moya Dodd, an outspoken advocate of including more women in soccer’s governing bodies, 27 votes to 17.
Afterward, BBC World Service journalist Mani Djazmi asked Kiron a tricky question:
This Twitter thread from FootballPakistan.com neatly explains how the vote for a FIFA Council seat came down to just two women: Countries aren’t allowed more than one representative on the council, so no woman from a country that already has a spot ran for the open seat, and any man currently on the council would have to step down if a woman from the same country won.
The consensus opinion is that Dodd, the vice president of the Asian Football Confederation, was the far more qualified candidate for the position. Kiron’s election continues a trend of inexperienced women being elected to the council by a mostly male voting bloc, which some see as evidence that the voters are exploiting the gender equality rules in order to keep less outspoken voices on the council.
Anyway, United States won the most recent Women’s World Cup with a 5-2 victory over Japan in the final. (You may remember Carli Lloyd’s heroics.) One of the women on that World Cup-winning team had something to say about Kiron’s comment.
Fucking. The word she was replacing with the asterisks there was fucking.