Belgian soccer federation elects female president: ‘Wants to bring in 2027 World Cup’
For the first time in its 128-year history, the Belgian Football Federation is headed by a female president. Pascale Van Damme was elected unanimously today.
Van Damme already served as an independent director at the KBVB. She succeeds Paul Van den Bulck, who resigned after only one year.
With Marianne van Leeuwen, the KNVB also has a female president for the first time since last year.
These are turbulent times for the Belgian Football Association. Two months ago, general manager Peter Bossaert was fired for allegedly giving himself an unjustified pay raise. Bossaert disagreed with his dismissal and filed a lawsuit.
With the appointment of Van Damme, the Football Association hopes to be able to look to the future again. “It gives me a lot of confidence that the entire board of directors and the executive committee want to turn the page together and continue to build on the future of the KBVB with united forces,” the 54-year-old Van Damme said in the association’s press release.
WORLD CUP 2027
One of Van Damme’s priorities will be the growth of women’s soccer in Belgium. The spearhead is bringing in the organization of the 2027 World Cup. Belgium has applied along with the Netherlands and Germany.
Brazil, South Africa and a joint bid by Mexico and the U.S. are also eager to host the event. FIFA will award the organization in May next year.
Other key issues Van Damme will focus on are improving the quality of arbitration, appointing a new general manager, further digitalizing the KBVB and expanding the association’s social role.