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Ex-lawyer Klaveness to lead Norwegian FA

Former Hjort employment lawyer and ex-footballer gets top job

Former lawyer Lise Klaveness has been elected president of the Football Association of Norway (NFF).

She becomes the first woman to be appointed to the role.

Klaveness, 40, 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.

An employment law specialist, Klaveness worked as a private practice lawyer at the Norwegian law firm Hjort.

She also had a career as a footballer, during which 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, 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 thank you very much for your trust,” Klaveness 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.

“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. 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.”

On being the first woman to be appointed to the role, Klaveness said: “I hope it gives a strong signal, because it’s needed. 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.”

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