Melbourne - The Asian Football Confederation will no longer reserve one of its vice-president positions exclusively for women in an amendment set to be put to an extraordinary congress on Friday, AFC vice-president Moya Dodd confirmed on Thursday.
Australian lawyer Dodd, the sole woman among the AFC's sitting vice-presidents, also confirmed the congress in Melbourne would hear a proposal to create a fifth regional grouping of nations, with Central Asia to split from it's current Central/South Asia zoning.
Dodd said in a post on her Facebook page:
"The increase in the number of zones from four to five will mean:
The number of women's positions on the AFC ExCo will increase from four to five.
The number of Vice-Presidents in AFC will remain at five, but these will all be zonally elected and there will no longer be a designated female Vice President (although my current term will be remain in place until it expires).
The total number of seats on the AFC ExCo (executive committee) will increase from 24 to 25."
Dodd said although there would no longer be a designated female vice president, the amendments would mean that there would be an additional woman at the ExCo table, and the proportion of women would increase from four out of 24 to five out of 25.
"AFC will be the first international football governing body to mandate fully 20 percent of its ExCo membership as female," she said.
"This is a new benchmark in gender equity for football governance."
Dodd said the amendments had been approved by the AFC Legal Committee and the AFC Executive Committee, both of which she is a member of, and would go to the congress for approval.
"Women can, of course, stand for any of the zonal Vice-President positions and I would hope that in time we will see women elected to such roles," she added.
"I have been privileged to be the first female Vice-President of AFC but I hope I am not the last."