The main changes to the statutes agreed are:
- An increase in the number of regional board members to eight from seven
- An increase in Asian representatives on FIFPRO’s global board to two from one
- A requirement that the Asian board must not comprise more than 66 percent of one gender
- An obligation that the chairperson and deputy chair must be of different genders
- A requirement that there must be one board member per national player union
The current Asia/Oceania board consists of two women and five men. Australia’s Kathryn Gill and Japan’s Aya Miyama were voted onto the board in 2017. They were the first female board members within FIFPRO’s governance structures.
The new board, which has a four-year term, will be formed in October and officially introduced during FIFPRO’s General Assembly in Paris in November.
At the same congress, to be held in Paris, France, the FIFPRO’s new global board will also be announced. Two board members from different genders will represent Asia/Oceania in that 18-person committee. Currently, former Australia player Francis Awaritefe is the lone representative of Asia/Oceania.
“We are opening more and more doors,” says Frederique Winia, General Secretary of FIFPRO Asia/Oceania. “We commit ourselves to creating an environment which offers equal opportunities for everyone, regardless of gender, race or belief. We are convinced that this will have a positive effect on our decision-making and on the support for our members, the players.”
“By being self-reflective and making changes, we also take our responsibility in guiding other organisations on a continent where diversity and inclusion are not always considered a number one priority.”
FIFPRO Asia/Oceania is one of four FIFPRO divisions, the others being Africa, America and Europe. The division has eight members (Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar and South Korea) and is helping develop player organisations in several other countries who are aspiring to become a member.