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CANBERRA - Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Minister for Sport Kate Lundy on Saturday congratulated Moya Dodd on her election to the executive committee of FIFA, football's world governing body.
Dodd, 48, will be co-opted as the first ever Australian to the FIFA executive committee.
Dodd has been on the Football Federation of Australia board since 2007 and was elected Vice-President of the Asian Football Confederation in 2009, representing Australian football across Asia.
"Australian Football is expanding at a rapid rate and it is fantastic that Australia will have a voice in one of the world's most powerful sporting bodies," the prime minister said in the joint press release with Minister Lundy.
Dodd joins 22 men and two other women at football's top governing body, representing the six confederations made up of the 209 football playing nations.
Local newspaper Sydney Morning Herald reported that Dodd's biggest achievement was her role in the overturning last year of FIFA's headscarf rule, which had prevented Muslim women playing football.
Dodd told the FIFA Congress that "I love working for football" and mentioned her plans for the commercialization of women's football "so that every little girl in the world can dream of being a footballer".
It is positive to see barriers for women on sporting governing bodies being broken down not only in Australia but also internationally. So many women are passionate about sport and this is great news for those who dream of a career in sporting administration, said Prime Minister Gillard and Minister Lundy, who are both women.
Dodd grew up in Adelaide and made her senior playing debut for Port Adelaide when she was 12. She was a vice-captain of the Matildas and participated in the first ever women's international tournament in 1988 in China.
She has an MBA and works as a solicitor for Gilbert & Tobin lawyers in Sydney. She continues to play football in an over-35s competition.