14 Oct 2016

Sport: Samoa's Sarai Bareman hoping to make global impact at FIFA

3:27 pm on 14 October 2016

The former Samoa Football Chief Executive Sarai Bareman is looking forward to creating major changes to the women's game at a global level.

This week football's world governing body FIFA appointed the ex Samoa international as its first ever Chief Women's Football Officer.

Sarai Bareman has been appointed as FIFA's first ever Chief Women's Football Officer.

FIFA's first ever Chief Women's Football Officer, Sarai Bareman. Photo: FIFA

Bareman will lead the newly created Women's Football Division as part of FIFA's management board.

She said women's football within FIFA represents the biggest growth opportunity in the game.

"At the moment it really is an untapped resource in terms of commercialisation of women's football, I think even in terms of participation of players," she said.

"A part of the role which is quite dear to my heart is the use of football as a tool to assist with women's empowerment and gender equality.

"There are many countries in the world where women are not in good positions because of their gender and I've seen through my work that football as a sport really does have a unique power to overcome some of these barriers."

The former Samoa Football CEO and Oceania Football Deputy Secretary General said the chance to influence football on the world stage was exciting.

"Within the administration we need more representation of women at all levels - to the top level but even in the member countries, in the committees, in the decision making bodies," she said.

"I think this is where these issues I have faced coming through football (we) will start to see changes, when there are women who are in the decision-making bodies and who are there to represent the female gender the pathway will become a lot easier.

"What I've enjoyed about Oceania is the fact that the impact I can have is much wider in the countries within the Pacific so I guess what appeals the most for me about the position in FIFA is that it then becomes an ability to make a global impact in such an important area so it's very exciting."

Sarai Bareman will begin her new role next month.