FIFA boss Sepp Blatter says women’s football is “limping behind” the men’s game in both profile and sponsorship, BBC reports. The 79-year-old also thinks football is too “macho” and wants governing bodies around the world to employ more females in positions of influence. In 2004, Blatter, 79, was heavily criticised for suggesting female footballers play in “tighter shorts” to improve the game’s popularity. But he says he feels like “a little bit of a godfather” to women’s football. “Women’s football is still limping behind a little bit. To get new partners for women’s football is difficult because the focus is on men’s football,” said Blatter, who is seeking a fifth term as president of world football’s governing body.
Blatter, who refused to answer the upcoming presidential election, believes change is possible by increasing the quota of women who must be elected to Fifa’s powerful executive committee. The number of women on the committee is currently one, after Burundi’s Lydia Nsekera became the first – and so far only – female elected onto it in 2013. Moya Dodd, Asian Football Federation vice-president, and Sonia Bien-Aime, president of the Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association, are also on the executive committee but as co-opted members. Last month, Bien-Aime also became the first female elected onto the executive committee of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football. Blatter also confirmed he will attend this summer’s Women’s World Cup in Canada “whatever the result” of the presidential election. Starting next month and consisting of 24 teams and 52 matches, it will be the biggest women’s football tournament in history. Blatter said it was a big opportunity to showcase the women’s game and said it was “up to the ladies” to put on a great event. “There will be over 20 cameras in each stadium, there will be goal-line technology in the stadium and there will be a lot of the public there,” he said.