Burundi's female football president replaced

Burundi's female football president replaced

BUJUMBURA, Burundi - Burundi's football association has elected a new president replacing Lydia Nsekera, one of the few women to have headed a national federation, officials said Monday.

Nsekera, 46, who in 2012 was also the first woman appointed to FIFA's executive committee, was until last year the only female head of a national football federation, before Sierra Leone named a woman as president.

However, on Sunday, Nsekera was ousted from her post as head of the Burundi Football Association - a job she had held since 2004 - in favour of a member of the ruling party.

Reverien Ndikuriyo, a senator in Burundi's upper house in parliament, won the job with 31 out of 56 votes, the association's executive secretary Jeremiah Manirakiza told AFP.

FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) representatives who observed the election said it was free and fair.

Ndikuriyo, a former rebel fighter, is president of the "Black Eagle", a second division team in Burundi's southeastern Makamba province.

Elections, delayed since February, were stalled by fighting between the rival contenders for the post, with Ndikuriyo backed by the ruling party, a provincial government official said, asking not to be named.

Nsekera, a basketball and high jump athlete, had made no secret of her ambition to encourage more women leaders in national football, and as she left her post "behind closed doors criticised political interference" in the association, the official added.

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