Vancouver: The general secretary of the world players` union FIFPro has blasted FIFA, saying the sport is ruled by "people who aren`t interested in the game" and that footballers must be involved in a reformed organisation.
Announcing a series of initiatives around union representation for women, Theo van Seggelen said on Friday that change at football`s ruling body FIFA, which has been rocked by a series of corruption scandals, had to include the players. "This game is still very conservative, it is out of touch and it repeatedly fails to administer its responsibility," the Dutchman explained.
"The football governance structure, widely condemned in these times of crisis and corruption, does not provide adequate room for the relevant stakeholders to take decisions that effect them.
"One of the keys to help solve this, I think, are the players. The players are central to what a reformed governance model would look like to provide the checks and balance that are desperately needed," added Van Seggelen.
"There is no balance at all. We are governed by people who are not interested in the game at all, unfortunately I have a lot of examples."
Van Seggelen said the efforts of women to exert more influence on football was a key part of the transformation he wanted to see in the game`s administration.
"Players, fans, coaches, referees, all of us demand a game to be proud of," he added ahead of Sunday`s Women`s World Cup final in Vancouver between the United States and holders Japan.
"I think women can become a driving force with this. The fight for respect and recognition as a very important stakeholder is one we all share because that is what football is crying out for right across the board."
FIFPro said they were now allowing women, in countries where there is no local union, to join their organisation in order to receive representation and to protect their rights.
Former Sweden goalkeeper Caroline Jonsson, who is spearheading FIFPro`s global women`s outreach effort, told Reuters there was a clear need for more diversity at the top of the game.
"This is an opportunity to say, `We want this`. Of course it is an opportunity for change," she explained.
"You have dictatorships falling in countries where people said there would never be change. FIFA isn`t that but if countries can change why wouldn`t FIFA be able to change? It is up to the member associations."