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Klaveness elected NFF president in Norway

Lise Klaveness is the first woman to lead the Football Association of Norway (NFF) after her election as president.

Lise Klaveness addresses the NFF assembly
Lise Klaveness addresses the NFF assembly Thomas Brekke Sæteren/ NFF

The 40-year-old former Norwegian national team player’s election by acclamation is a key moment in the year that marks the NFF’s 120th anniversary.

“I thank you very much for your trust,” she told the NFF assembly. “I accept the responsibility, and enter the role with curiosity and great humility. I have a lot to learn, and I have great respect for my predecessors.”

Much respected

Klaveness has a master’s degree in law, and has worked as a lawyer, an assistant judge in the district court of Oslo and a special advisor in the National Bank of Norway. During her career as a footballer, she won 73 caps for Norway as a midfielder and forward between 2002 and 2011, playing in the team that finished UEFA Women’s EURO runners-up in 2005. She also helped Swedish club Umeå to reach the final of the UEFA Women’s Cup, the forerunner to the UEFA Women’s Champions League, in 2007.

In 2018, she became the NFF’s director of elite football, earning considerable respect in the Norwegian domestic game’s elite and grassroots levels, and was a participant in the 2019-21 edition of the UEFA Executive Master for International Players (UEFA MIP) programme that equips former international players with professional skills to help them move into a second career within football organisations.

“I think the most important thing as a leader is that we have a goal to lead us forward. It's important not only to be able to listen and learn, but also to lead,” said Klaveness.

“We don’t just want to keep things as they are. The mandate I'm given demands that we're courageous. We must be willing to try and change things, both internationally and nationally.”

Historic achievement

Klaveness takes the helm in Norway at the latest stage of an impressive career in the game on and off the field, and she expressed the hope that she can set an example to follow for girls and women aspiring to more than just a playing career in football.

“I hope it gives a strong signal, because it’s needed,” she said. “For girls and women to be able to dream the full dream, they have to be able to see that they have career opportunities in football.”

“I feel that I’m stepping into the line of many other leaders, both women and men. Football is the biggest women’s sport in Norway, and it’s not like we are a minority. I’m proud to be able to work together with all those who have already broken the gender barrier.”