Fifa Exec Sarai Bareman Understands the Margins
From her time as a player on the Samoan women’s national team to becoming deputy secretary general of the tiny Oceania Football Confederation, few people are better suited to addressing the challenges faced by the global women’s game – itself a monument to life on the margins – than New Zealand-born Sarai Bareman, Samantha Lewis writes for The Guardian.
Now, as Fifa’s inaugural chief women’s football officer, Bareman is in charge of developing and delivering the sport across the world’s 211 associations, Lewis reports.
Part of Bareman’s mandate was the development and implementation of the governing body’s first women’s football strategy in 2018; a roadmap for the growth of the women’s game around the world.
Although the pandemic has forced the global game to look inwards, Bareman cannot help but turn her gaze towards the future, particularly with the 2023 Women’s World Cup coming to her home region – the place where it all began.
“I still have a close connection with what’s happening in Oceania and the buzz that’s been created in all those 11 member countries is incredible,” Bareman says. “We’ve seen women’s leagues start in Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, dedicated programs specifically for it, they’ve employed new women’s football officers in every single one of those countries.
Original article by Samantha Lewis, The Guardian, January 21, 2021.