FILE - Norwegian soccer official Lise Klaveness speaks during the...

FILE - Norwegian soccer official Lise Klaveness speaks during the FIFA congress at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, March 31, 2022. Lise Klaveness, one of the few women presidents of a national soccer federation, is standing as a candidate in elections for a seat on the European governing body’s decision-making board, the Norwegian Football Federation said Wednesday, Jan. 18. 2023. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File) Credit: AP/Hassan Ammar

GENEVA — Aiming to become one of the few women in world soccer politics to win an election against men, Norwegian Football Federation president Lisa Klaveness is running for a seat on UEFA's executive committee.

Klaveness was declared an official candidate Thursday, one of 11 European officials who are vying for seven available seats with a four-year mandate on the UEFA ruling committee.

UEFA's executive committee has 20 members in total but currently includes only one woman — Florence Hardouin of France, who holds a seat that is especially reserved for women. No woman has ever been elected to a seat open for men.

Klaveness is a lawyer and former national-team player who made a big impact at the FIFA Congress last year in Qatar with a speech directly addressing the World Cup host nation’s record on labor and human rights.

Other candidates for the four-year terms include Andrii Pavelko of Ukraine and UEFA vice president Luis Rubiales of Spain, who are among four incumbents seeking to retain their seat.

The election will be held at a meeting of UEFA's 55 member countries on April 5 in Lisbon, where Aleksander Ceferin will be unopposed for re-election to the presidency he has held since 2016.

Hardouin is not running for re-election, and Klaveness’ decision to target the election against men left only one candidate for the seat reserved for a woman, Laura McAllister of Wales. McAllister is an academic and a former international player who helped lead a group of Welsh LGBT fans wearing rainbow hats at the World Cup in Qatar.

One of the biggest decisions facing the next UEFA executive committee is choosing hosts in September for the 2028 and 2032 editions of the men’s European Championship. The UK and Ireland is expected get Euro 2028 and Italy has been favored for 2032. Both are competing against Turkey.

The UEFA executive committee also includes the Qatari president of Paris Saint-Germain, Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, who represents European clubs on the decision-making body.

Two seats held by UEFA vice presidents Sando Csanyi and Fernando Gomes have become vacant because they have reached the age limit of 70. Both are standing on April 5 for European seats on the FIFA Council because the world soccer body does not have age limits for candidates.

Borussia Dortmund executive Hans-Joachim Watzke is the only candidate for a seat with a two-year mandate on the UEFA executive committee.

Ceferin is eligible to be UEFA president for a total of 15 years through 2031 despite UEFA having a term limit of 12 years.

An amendment was passed by UEFA that meant the first three years of his presidency — completing an unfinished mandate of Michel Platini, who was banned by FIFA for alleged financial wrongdoing — did not count against his 12-year limit.


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