Skip to content
Speakers

Sarai Bareman

FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer
Switzerland

Born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand to a Samoan mother and Dutch father, Sarai’s passion for football started as a young girl. Encouraged to play sports from a very young age, she pursued her love of football to the highest level, representing the Samoan women’s national team.

After a decade long career in the banking and finance industry in New Zealand, she started her career in football administration as the CEO of the Samoan Football Federation. She was responsible for overhauling the financial management and the strategic rebuild of the organisation, reintroducing the sport to the country after a long period of instability.

Subsequently, the sport thrived across Samoa with ongoing activity at every level, from the grassroots to the national teams. In July 2014, Sarai moved back to New Zealand to take up the position OFC Deputy General Secretary where her passion for football development continued, with a wider impact across the entire Pacific region.

In 2015, Sarai was appointed as the only female member of FIFA’s Reform Committee, where she was a strong advocate for change within the organisation, in particular calling for concrete requirements concerning women’s football and women in football.

Sarai was appointed FIFA’s Chief Women’s Football Officer and a member of FIFA’s Management Board in December 2016 where she currently leads the Women’s Football Division, responsible for delivering the FIFA Womens World Cup and implementing the global Women’s Football Strategy in conjunction with FIFA’s 211 member associations. The strategy aims to grow participation, enhance commercial value and build on the foundations of the women’s game, all while leveraging the societal benefits of football.

Since Sarai’s appointment as the Chief of Women’s Football she has overseen immense growth in the women’s game globally, both on and off the pitch. On the pitch, this growth is demonstrated by a record number of women’s national teams who competed in the qualifiers for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.

Off the pitch, 1.12 billion people tuned in to watch the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup with more than 1.1 million fans filling the stadiums in France – all great indicators for FIFA’s newly launched commercial strategy for women’s football, injecting significant revenue into the women’s game.
In 2023 the next edition of the Women’s World Cup will move down under with the biggest female sporting event in the world set to be co-hosted for the first time, across Australia and New Zealand.

From a development perspective, Sarai has also overseen the implementation of FIFA’s revamped Women’s Development Programme that is providing millions of girls and women access to football globally.

In April 2022, Sarai became a mother and welcomed her first son Matthijs to the world who was born in Zurich, Switzerland.

Connect with Sarai Bareman
Sarai Bareman's

Sessions

  • Social Change
    Social Change
    Inspiring Insights | He Wawata - Social Change through women and girls football
    Speaker, Sarai Bareman is proudly supported by XERO

    Why is inclusion important? Sarah will describe the current state of play in women's football globally and offer practical insights to grow your understanding of inclusion and help transform your approach to this, no matter your role.

    Sarai's talk is proudly supported by

    Logo - Blue.png
    Hybrid session
    10:20am - 11:25am
    Social Change

    Why is inclusion important? Sarah will describe the current state of play in women's football globally and offer practical insights to grow your understanding of inclusion and help transform your approach to this, no matter your role.

    Sarai's talk is proudly supported by

    Logo - Blue.png
    visibility & voice

    Why is inclusion important? Sarah will describe the current state of play in women's football globally and offer practical insights to grow your understanding of inclusion and help transform your approach to this, no matter your role.

    Sarai's talk is proudly supported by

    Logo - Blue.png
  • High Performance
    High Performance
    Challenges to Going Pro in Women’s Sport
    Discuss the critical considerations and best practice solutions to guide the road to professionalism.

    This talk will focus on two case studies in women’s football and rugby to illustrate the challenges to professionalism in both codes, including global cultural challenges.

    Session Title: Challenges facing professionalism in women's sport

    Virtual session
    High Performance

    This talk will focus on two case studies in women’s football and rugby to illustrate the challenges to professionalism in both codes, including global cultural challenges.

    Session Title: Challenges facing professionalism in women's sport

    Format: Lightning Talk
    Lenses:
    • Systems, Resources and Investment
    visibility & voice

    This talk will focus on two case studies in women’s football and rugby to illustrate the challenges to professionalism in both codes, including global cultural challenges.

    Session Title: Challenges facing professionalism in women's sport

    Format: Lightning Talk
    Lenses:
    • Systems, Resources and Investment

Registrati­ons now open!

Wherever you are in the world, you can access the conference in ways that will work for you.

Register to learn how to curate your own virtual or hybrid in-person and virtual experience across the four conference days.