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Football Iron Lady

Ahmed Jallanzo/Twenty Ten

Location: Monrovia, Liberia

To become the first woman in the world to head a football federation is no mean feat, but Councillor Sombo Izetta Wesley is not known as the ‘Iron Lady’ for nothing.

Her steely determination and strength came to light in 1997 when she was elected the Vice President of Administration in the Liberia Football Association (LFA). Nine years later, after the departure of Edwin Melvin Snowe, she became the first female president. Wesley is also the Vice President of the West African Football Union (WAFU), a regional football organisation focused on developing the game.

As if these accolades were not enough, Wesley is a member of the Liberia National Bar association of Liberia (LINBA), and the former president of the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL). A committed member of the Masons, Wesley serves as an Officer of the General Grand Chapter Order of the Eastern Star.

This Iron Lady has pioneered the participation of women in football through her work as a member of the Standing Committee on Women’s football and the FIFA Women World Cup. She works as a match commissioner for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and for FIFA.

In her present term as president of the LFA, Wesley has secured a second FIFA Goal Project at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium, as well as overseeing the building of a brand new stadium in Kakata.

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