Wales’ Laura McAllister bids for seat at world football’s top table

December 3 – Former Wales captain Laura McAllister looks set to become one of the most powerful women in world and European football.

McAllister is standing for election  as UEFA’s designated female representative on the FIFA council. All four British football associations support her bid to take over from Evelina Christillin.

McAllister, who earned 24 caps for Wales between 1994 and 2001, has held the position of deputy chair on UEFA’s Women’s Football Committee since 2016. If elected, she would become UEFA’s first woman member of the FIFA Council who has also played the game at international level. The 55 member associations will cast their vote at the UEFA Congress on March 2 next year.

This will be McAllister’s second attempt to be elected to the FIFA Council, having been blocked from doing so in 2016  by a regulation which has since been changed. England’s David Gill was a FIFA vice-president at the time, meaning no other British person could apply according to FIFA rules. Christillin was the only other candidate and was therefore elected at UEFA’s extraordinary congress in Athens that year.

Now FIFA’s rules have been changed, however, the Football Association of Wales has nominated McAllister.

“The opportunity to stand for FIFA Council election is a particularly exciting challenge and one I look forward to immensely,” she said.

“My experience and expertise of the game and its governance will hopefully assure colleagues across Europe that I will be the superior candidate to represent them on the council of world football’s governing body I think I’ve got a contribution to make, knowing the game inside out for women and men.”

“I’m passionate about improving the diversity of sports governance, whether that’s in football or anywhere else. But things take time and I think we’ve got to be realistic. If I were to be elected, then I’d want to get to know the organization and be clear what my contribution could be, and nothing riles people more than somebody racing in and trying to change everything.”

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