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Japan’s Aya Miyama, one of the world’s most respected figures in women’s football, has accepted an invitation to represent FIFPro in an official capacity.

Miyama joins Australia’s Kathryn Gill on the board of FIFPro Division Asia/Oceania which has been restructured to include two female representatives.

“Although I have to learn more about what I can do, I am thankful for this exciting opportunity to be a part of the movement led by FIFPro to improve the playing environment of female players,” Miyama said.

Miyama is a decorated international who played a key role in helping Japan win the Women's World Cup for the first time in 2011. She captained her country to Asian Cup success in 2014 and won an Olympic silver medal in 2012.

In 2015, a year in which she guided Japan to the World Cup final, Miyama was named AFC Player of the Year for the third time.

This year saw Miyama awarded the honour of being named to the inaugural FIFPro Women’s World XI, a player-driven vote involving female professionals from all over the globe.

FIFPro Asia Secretary General Frederique Winia said the division’s commitment to gender equality was critical in ensuring the voice of all players were heard at the very highest levels of the game.

“Aya’s achievements on the pitch are known to all, but she is equally impressive off it and there is no doubt she that she will succeed in her new role,” Ms Winia said.

“The development of the women’s game is long overdue, with the players best placed to drive the establishment of a genuine career path for the region’s talented female footballers.

“Football must embrace the battle for parity and FIFPro Asia is proud to be leading the way on gender equity."