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More than 140 athletes, coaches, team administrators, and organizations have signed on to a letter calling on the FIFA Reform Committee to right the institutional wrong of the under-­representation and under­-resourcing of women in football.

See below for the full letter, and take action!

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1,520 signed

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Dear FIFA Reform Committee,

We the undersigned, call on the FIFA Reform Committee to right the institutional wrong of the under-­representation and under-­resourcing of women in football.

In the 111 years since FIFA was formed, women are still vastly underrepresented at every level of the world’s most-loved game. Although FIFA outlaws discrimination based on gender and is a recent signatory of the Brighton + Helsinki Declaration, only 3 of the 26 ExCo members are women; just 2 of 209 MA Presidents are women, and women make up less than 1% of the voting population in the FIFA Congress. This is not Fair Play.

As such, we respectfully request the Reform Committee to recommend an immediate 30% presence of women on the FIFA Executive Committee, to be mirrored within a reasonable time at all levels of the sport. This is not only what’s fair and right ­ it’s also what’s best for the sport that is in dire need of reform.

Numerous studies give evidence that diversity delivers better decisions: gender­ balanced organizations perform better and have reduced severity and frequency of fraud. But to achieve these benefits, critical mass is essential. Boardroom diversity advocates recommend the inclusion of at least 30% women, as once this gender balance is reached, the culture shifts. With 30%, women cease to be regarded as a special interest group, and become “normalized” as part of the mainstream. No wonder so many governments have targets of 30% or more women. France, Germany, Italy and Holland are among them.

Further, it is still the case that many girls grow into women without having the chance to experience the joy of the game. Under­resourcing reinforces the perception that football is a game for men, confining women to the margins and creating an environment for discrimination. At the 2015 FIFA Symposium, a survey was conducted among the female delegates of 171 countries. Of the respondents, 63% said they had observed gender discrimination in football, and 43% had personally experienced it. And 82% expressed their belief that gender discrimination was preventing women’s football from achieving its potential.

We respectfully request the Reform Committee to recommend that all football stakeholders, including governing bodies and clubs, be required to actively resource participation opportunities for women and girls at all levels, without gender discrimination in fair financial proportion to its female participation and potential. Addressing gender imbalance is a visible and convincing means to demonstrate that this Reform Committee, FIFA and football are prepared to lead and be a vehicle for progress in the eyes of the world.

Football cannot wait, and women should not be asked to wait any longer. The Reform Committee must hear this call to action and look to accelerate gender inclusion by recommending these proposals for immediate enactment.

Sincerely,

Mary Harvey, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team* (retired)

Donna de Varona, U.S. Swimming* (retired), Chairman, 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Nancy Hogshead-Makar, U.S. Swimming (retired)

Greg Louganis, U.S. Diving* (retired)

James Blake, U.S. Tennis* (retired)

Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets, NBA

Brendon Ayanbadejo, Baltimore Ravens, NFL (retired)

Chris Kluwe, Minnesota Vikings, NFL (retired)

Michael Sam, University of Missouri, 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year

Michelle Akers, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team* (retired)

Amanda Cromwell, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team* (retired)

Lori Lindsey, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team* (retired)

Carla Overbeck, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team* (retired)

Cindy Parlow Cone, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team* (retired)

Michelle French, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team* (retired)

Shannon MacMillan, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team* (retired)

Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team* (retired)

Danielle Slaton, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team* (retired)

Christie Welsh, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team* (retired)

Sara Whalen, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team* (retired)

John O’Brien, U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team* (retired)

Eli Wolff, U.S. Men’s Paralympic Soccer Team* (retired)

Robbie Rogers, L.A. Galaxy

Crystal Dunn, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team

Ashlyn Harris, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team

Meghan Klingenberg, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team

Ali Krieger, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team*

Megan Rapinoe, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team*

Becky Sauerbrunn, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team*

Abby Wambach, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team*

Sally Shipard, Australia Women’s National Soccer Team (retired)

Michelle Heyman, Australia Women’s National Soccer Team

Emily Van Egmond, Australia Women’s National Soccer Team

Kaylyn Kyle, Canada Women’s National Soccer Team*

Carmelina Moscato, Canada Women’s National Soccer Team*

Rhian Wilkinson, Canada Women’s National Soccer Team*

Casey Stoney, England Women’s National Soccer Team*

Belle Brockhoff, Australia Snowboarding*

Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, U.S. Snowboarding*

Simona Meiler, Switzerland Snowboarding*

Alex Duckworth, Canada Snowboarding*

Charline Labonté, Canada Hockey*

Eric Mitchell, Canada Ski Jumping (retired)*

Anastasia Bucsis, Canada Speed Skating*

Cameron Myler, U.S. Luge* (retired)

Caryn Davis, U.S. Rowing* (retired)

Ginny Gilder, U.S. Rowing* (retired)

Esther Lofgren, U.S. Rowing*

Chris Mosier, U.S. Duathlon

Vicky LeBlanc, Canada Softball (retired)*

Rosie Cossar, Canada Gymnastics* (retired)

Connor Taras, Canada Kayaking (retired)

Mark Tewksbury, Canada Swimming (retired)*

Rennae Stubbs, Australia Tennis (retired)*

Sinead Farrelly, Boston Breakers, NWSL

Julie King, Boston Breakers, NWSL

Lauren Lazo, Boston Breakers, NWSL

Katie Schoepfer, Boston Breakers, NWSL

McCall Zerboni, Boston Breakers, NWSL

Jennifer Hoy, Chicago Red Stars, NWSL

Alyssa Mautz, Chicago Red Stars, NWSL

Yael Averbuch, FC Kansas City, NWSL

Rachael Axon, Houston Dash, NWSL

Tiffany McCarty, Houston Dash, NWSL

Stephanie Ochs, Houston Dash, NWSL

Toni Pressley, Orlando Pride, NWSL

Michelle Betos, Portland Thorns, NWSL

Keelin Winters, Seattle Reign, NWSL

Beverly Yanez, Seattle Reign, NWSL

Laura Harvey, Seattle Reign (coach), NWSL

Amanda DaCosta, Washington Spirit, NWSL

Laura del Rio, Washington Spirit, NWSL

Tori Huster, Washington Spirit, NWSL

Joanna Lohman, Washington Spirit, NWSL

Megan Oyster, Washington Spirit, NWSL

Elizabeth Eddy, Western New York Flash, NWSL

Estelle Johnson, Washington Spirit, NWSL

Kelly Applebee, VicSpirit Cricket Team

Kristen Beams, Australia National Cricket Team

Kim Crow, Australia Rowing*

Lydia Lassila, Australia Aerial Skiing*

Alex Morgan, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team*

Heather O'Reilly, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team*

Loudy Wiggins, Australia Diving* (retired)

Shannon Boxx, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team* (retired)

Stephanie Cox, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team* (retired)

Lauren Sesselmann, Canada Women’s National Soccer Team*

Kate Sobrero Markgraf, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team*

Carly Smolak, New York Power, WUSA (retired)

Emma Hayes, Chelsea Ladies (coach)

Joey Peters, Australia Women’s National Soccer Team (retired)*

Tiffeny Milbrett, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team* (retired)

Michelle Lomnicki, Chicago Red Stars

Sean James, Minnesota Vikings, NFL (retired)

Tatjana Haenni, Switzerland Women’s National Soccer Team

Hedvig Lindahl, Sweden National Soccer Team*

Jodie Taylor, England National Soccer Team

Zakiya Bywaters, Chicago Red Stars, NWSL

Kristine Lilly Heavey, U.S. Women’s National Soccer team* (retired)

Caroline Seger, Sweden National Soccer Team*

Association Espanola Jugadoras Futbol

Vera Pauw, National Coach of Banyana Banyana, South African WNT, FIFA instructor

Gus Kenworthy, U.S. Skiing*

Kristin Bernert, Senior Vice President, Business & Basketball Operations, NY Liberty

Kelly Krauskopf, President & General Manager, Indiana Fever

Chris Sienko, Chief Operating Officer & General Manager, Connecticut Sun

Alisha Valavanis, President & General Manager, Seattle Storm

Beth Brooke-Marciniak, Global Vice Chair, Public Policy, EY

Athlete Ally

Champion Women

Force 10 Enterprises (owners, Seattle Storm)

GO! Athletes

National Center for Lesbian Rights

UltraViolet

Women’s Sports Foundation

Carli Lloyd, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team*

Melissa Barbieri, Australia Women’s National Soccer Team* (retired)

Amy Chapman, Brisbane Roar, W-League

Grace Gill, Canberra United, W-League

Seth Wescott, U.S. Snowboarding*

Pride Sports UK

Caroline Jönsson, Sweden National Team (retired), World Cup silver medal football

Joan McEachern, Canada National Soccer Team (retired)

America Scores

FARE Network

FootballvHomophobia

Alexandra Gummer, Adelaide United Lady Reds, W-League

Monique Iannella, Melbourne City, W-League

Soccer Without Borders

Geri Donnelly, Canada National Soccer Team (retired)

Helen Stoumbos, Canada National Soccer Team (retired)

Mary Burzminski, Canada Olympic Athlete (retired)*

Caitlin Fisher, Guerreiras Project & professional soccer player (retired)

Gill Foster, Australian Women’s National Soccer Team (retired)

Rebecca Smith, Women's Football Competitions Manager at FIFA

Kersten Hallander, U.S. National Racquetball Team & Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (retired)

Sun Wen, China Women’s National Soccer Team (retired)*

Lisa Cole, Boston Breakers (former coach), NWSL

Vera Pauw, Netherlands Women’s National Soccer Team (retired) & South Africa Women’s National Soccer Team (coach)

Edwin Moses, U.S. Track & Field (retired)*

Carly Telford, England Women’s National Soccer Team

Lianne Sanderson, England Women’s National Soccer Team

streetfootballworld

*Olympic athlete

NOTE: List updated 12/09/15, 10:00pm EST