She is a name branded boldly in the masculine administration of football. Her name echoes with pride within the hallways of the more than 109 years of FIFA.
A woman who conquered the odds and became the first woman to sit at a table with men in the FIFA administration.
With so much to give to the sporting fraternity, Africa, Africa Sports Ventures Group and the rest of the world today bows down to you Lydia Nsekera.
One of the most powerful women in sports administration, Nsekera has worn and still wears many hats.
Nsekera has been with the International Olympic Committee since 2009. Currently, she chairs the IOC Women in Sports Commission.
As the former President of Burundi Football Federation (FFB) from 2004 until 2013, it is in football however where her destiny as one of the most powerful names in football is.
Maybe it is right to say football ran through Nsekera's veins as she was born to one of the royal families of Burundi 54 years ago. She is the daughter of a former president of a local soccer club.
A few days back she lost her FIFA council member seat representing Africa to another powerful female figure in the football arena, Sierra Leone's Isha Johansen, a position she held since 2013.
Affectionately known as the first lady of Football, Nsekera's success in the world of sports caught the world’s attention including Forbes.
In March 2020, Forbes included her on a list of 50 Africa’s most powerful women in the world.
A holder of a degree in Economics and Administrative Sciences from the University of Burundi, she became the first woman to be co-opted into the FIFA council for one year in 2012.
Thereafter, in 2013, she was elected for a full four-year term, becoming the first woman to achieve that feat in the history of FIFA. This feat earned the name “The First Lady of Football”.
After her appointment, she swung into action immediately. Within a year, she set in motion a league system that has been placed on hold for three consecutive seasons.
She has served as the Vice-President of Burundi’s Women’s Football Committee and helped launch the country’s first national women league.
Her service in sports administration is unparalleled. They include;
Member of the Atletico Olympic Football Club national men’s league (2000-2007),
Women and Sport Commission (2001-2006)
Leader of a women’s Football club (2001-2015)
President of the Burundi Football Federation (2004-2013)
Member of the Organising Committee of the 5th African women’s football championships, 2006
A Member of the Organising Committee of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) Olympic Football Tournaments (2006-2016)
Member of the Women’s Football Commission of the African Football Confederation (CAF) (2006-2012)
A member of the Executive Committee of the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (2007-2011)
Member of the Organising Committee of the FIFA World Cup, Chile, 2008
A member of the Organising Committee of the Olympic football tournaments in Beijing, 2008
Member (2011-2013), then President (2013-2016) of the Women’s World Cup Commission; co-opted (2012)
Elected by the FIFA Congress as FIFA Executive Committee Member, 2013
Vice President of the FIFA Development Committee, 2017
Member of the FIFA Foundation Board
A member of the Executive Committee of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) (2014-2018)
Member of the Burundi NOC Executive Bureau (2006-2017)
President of the Burundi NOC, 2017
Member of the Burundi National Olympic Committee (NOC)
Honour President (2007-2013) and Vice President (2014)
The Women’s Football and Futsal Commission of the African Football Federation (CAF)
Executive Committee of the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations
Lydia Nsekera International Olympic Committee (IOC) History
Member (2010-2014), then Chair (2014-2015) of the Women and Sport Commission
Chair of the Women in Sport Commission, 2015
Member of Radio and Television (2011-2014), Marketing (2014-2015), Coordination for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020 (2013), Communications (2015)
Member of Evaluation for the Youth Olympic Games 2022 (2018), Coordination for the Games of XXXIV Olympiad Los Angeles 2028 (2019)
Awards And Recognitions
One of the FIFA representatives at the medal presentations for women’s football at the Games of the Olympiad, Beijing 2008
Nominated by the Bujumbura Mayor as one of the 10 best women workers of 2008
Winner of the IOC Women and Sports Award, 2009
Named to the Order of the Peoples Friendship of the Republic of Burundi, 2012
Named by Presidential Decree to the Council of National Orders and Honours of the Republic of Burundi, 2018
We thank you Lydia....