Interview - FIFA Ex-Co Nominee Wants "Honesty, Integrity and Openness"

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(WFI) Sonia Bien-Aime tells INSIDER she sees the other three female candidates for the FIFA Executive Committee not as opponents but as part of the same team.

Sonia Bien-Aime (TCIFA)
“It is like football,” she says. 

“You must have a committed and competent squad, but only 11 can take the field.”

As secretary general of the Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association, she was nominated for the Ex-Co last month by the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football.

The other three candidates are Moya Dodd from the Asian Football Confederation, Lydia Nsekera from the Confederation of African Football and Paula Kearns from the Oceania Football Confederation.

Nsekera, the President of the Burundi Football Association, has been the co-opted female member of the Ex-Co since the 2012 FIFA Congress approved a seat specifically for women.

Dodd, an AFC vice president, sits on the board of Football Federation Australia, while Kearns is a former acting CEO and current board member of New Zealand Football.

“I am not in a position to speak to the other three nominees as such because I do not know them so well,” Bien-Aime tells INSIDER

“The mere fact of their nomination would lead me to believe that we all share a common goal in furthering the development and growth of football.” 
One of the four will join the Ex-Co as its 25th member for a period of four years following elections to be held May 30 and 31 at the FIFA Congress in Mauritius.

According to Bien-Aime, she is still discussing with her CONCACAF colleagues what the key elements of her campaign will be.

“All I will say is that I believe in honesty, integrity and openness and the belief that no challenge cannot be surmounted,” says the former sprinter and long jumper, who last year became the first female to join the Executive Committee of the Caribbean Football Union.

Asked about her goals if elected to the FIFA Ex-Co, she lists several – “to listen, consult and deliberate with my fellow members on the issue of the day” as well as “to craft and bring new ideas to the table in my own attempt to make a positive contribution to FIFA and its objectives” – but notes the seat isn’t just about advocacy for women’s football.

“Although the candidacy is limited to females, it is not only a female perspective they seek but knowledge and insight from females who are active in the administration of football and who can give a voice to certain issues mutual to the objectives of FIFA,” she explains.

“I am hoping to play some part in having that voice heard.”

By INSIDER's Matthew Grayson

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