Next Fifa president after Sepp Blatter could be a woman and 'capability' more important than gender, says Brazil legend Marta

The outgoing Fifa chief Blatter has himself been dogged by sexism claims

Adam Withnall@adamwithnall
Thursday 04 June 2015 09:55

Brazil's World Cup star and five-time worldwide Player of the Year Marta has said there's no reason why the next Fifa president after Sepp Blatter couldn't be a woman.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Marta said her status as arguably the greatest women's player of all time hadn't won her much contact with high-ranking Fifa officials.

And addressing the issue of the next Fifa president, she said: "Independent to a man or woman it's about capacity. You need to have the knowledge of what needs to be done to improve the sport, so I have a preference for capability [over question of gender]."

Mr Blatter himself had a tough time appealing to women over his 17 years as head of the governing body, and infamously suggested female players should be made to wear "tighter shorts" to attract more fans.

He told Sonttagsblick in an interview in 2004: "Come on, let’s get women to play in different and more feminine garb than the men."

When asked if they should play in short skirts, Mr Blatter said: "No, but in tighter shorts for example. In volleyball women wear different clothes from the men. Beautiful women play football nowadays, excuse me for saying so."

In 2013, when Burundi's Lydia Nsekera became the first woman on Fifa's executive committee, Mr Blatter caused further offence when he followed up the announcement of her appointment by saying: "Any ladies in this room? Say something ladies. You are always speaking at home. Now you can speak here."

Ms Nsekera is now the highest-ranking woman in world football - and a potential favourite if a female candidate were to come forward for the presidency.

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