GENEVA ( Associated Press) – The Norwegian leader who made a name for herself in soccer politics last year in Doha with a speech criticizing World Cup host Qatar is looking to join UEFA’s executive committee.
Lise Klavanes, one of the few women leading the national football federation, is running for a seat on the European governing body’s decision-making council, the Norwegian Football Federation said on Wednesday.
UEFA has set a February 5 deadline to stand for election, which also includes a quota seat on the 20-member executive committee reserved for women.
All 55 UEFA member associations will take part in the vote at their annual meeting in Lisbon on 5 April.
If Clevenes wins, he will sit on UEFA’s board of directors alongside Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelafi, one of the most influential Qataris in world football.
Al-Khelai is president of the European Club Association and a close ally of UEFA president Aleksandar Ceferin, whose support could be crucial to his success in the election.
In an interview with Norwegian radio station NRK on Wednesday, Klevnes said he met with Ceferin last week to explain his candidacy.
Kalvenes was president of the Norwegian Federation for only a few weeks last year when she spoke in Qatar.
That address, in March of last year, impressed by the standards of the tightly scripted FIFA Congress.
A judge and former national team player, Klevenes, who is also gay, drew the attention of world football leaders from more than 200 countries on the eve of the World Cup to Qatar’s record on workers’ rights, immigrants and the criminalization of homosexuality .
FIFA tried to persuade the Norwegian delegation not to make the speech, which drew a harsh retort in the conference room from the head of the World Cup organizing committee in Qatar.
Later in October, Clavenes joined FIFA at a Council of Europe meeting in Strasbourg, France, to advocate for the creation of a compensation fund for the families of workers killed or injured in the construction of World Cup projects in Qatar. No such fund has been created.
The women’s position on the UEFA executive committee, which will be elected in April, has been held by Florence Hardouin, director general of the French football federation, since 2016.
Hardouin was suspended from his post in Paris last week as part of a wider investigation into the management culture in the French federation.