May 31 - Lydia Nsekera has become the first woman to secure a seat on FIFA's ruling Executive Committee as she was elected to the historic position at the football world governing body's 63rd Congress in Mauritius today.
With 95 of the 203 valid votes, the Burundi Football Association President and International Olympic Committee (IOC) member is the first female to have voting rights in FIFA's 109-year history - a privilege she will now maintain until 2017.
The other challengers, Australia's Asian Football Confederation (AFC) vice-president Moya Dodd, who garnered 70 votes, and Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association secretary general Sonia Bien-Aime, who received 38 votes, will also join FIFA's top table as co-opted members on a one-year term.
The 46-year-old Nsekera, already a member of FIFA Committees for women's football and the Women's World Cup, had been widely considered as the favourite for the position, having held a seat on the Executive Committee on an interim mandate since the FIFA Congress in Budapest in May 2012.
"I will inspire women to believe they can lead, I will push them to let their girls play football because it is a school of life, and I will support women in the member associations," Nsekera promised.
Her appointment today sees FIFA President Sepp Blatter finally delivering on his promise to add a much-needed female voice to the top table of world football after he was elected to lead the body for a fourth and final term in 2011.
The initiative formed part of his reform process to clean up FIFA after it lost a string of powerbrokers following bribery and corruption scandals that rocked the organisation to the core.
FIFA also approved tough new measures to combat racism and discrimination at today's meeting.
A 99 per cent majority of members approved the motion, which will see first or minor offenders hit with a warning, fine or the playing of a match behind closed doors and re- or serious offenders facing punishment for their teams, including points deductions, expulsion from a given competition or relegation.
FIFA also said that any individual involved in racist or discriminatory behaviour will be subject to a five-game ban, while specialist officials will be in stadiums to identify potential acts of racism or discrimination.
"We have been through a difficult time," Blatter said.
"It has been a test for the world of football and for those who lead it.
"There have been despicable events this year that have cast a long shadow over football and the rest of society.
"I am speaking of the politics of hate – racism, ignorance, discrimination, intolerance, small-minded prejudice.
"That uncivilised, immoral and self-destructive force that we all detest."
Meanwhile, it was confirmed that Britain's long-term FIFA Executive Committee seat will be retained despite the abolition of the British vice-presidency.
The four British associations of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will now exercise their influence on the International Football Association Board (IFAB).
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May 2013: Dodd's FIFA Executive Committee campaign boosted by backing from Australian Government
February 2013: Four female candidates seeking election to FIFA Executive Committee
May 2012: Burundi's Lydia Nsekera named as FIFA's first female Executive Committee member
January 2012: Exclusive - Blatter's female Executive Committee member promise has yet to be approved