Buenos Aires, Sep 30 (EFE).- Lucia Barbuto on Oct. 8 will become the first women selected to head a first-division Argentine soccer club. The future boss of Banfield told EFE that she hopes to be the first of many female club presidents, adding that the milestone was achieved due to the feminist movement.
Barbuto, 33, is the Buenos Aires club’s current auditor and was selected by the organization to head it, with none of the opposition groups presenting any other candidates.
In response to EFE’s question as to how her appointment came about, Barbuto said that outgoing club president Eduarto Spinosa met with her and asked her if she wanted to lead the club over the next three years, and she said yes. He told her that all the members of the board had decided to offer her the job and that they were all in agreement on the matter.
She said that she and the club hope that her new position will open the doors for other women in top leadership spots in Argentine soccer, although each must be judged on their merits, just like men.
Barbuto went on to say that years ago she never could have imagined heading an Argentine soccer club, but thanks to the feminist movement this had now become possible.
“I’m not the same person I was last year and I see that all women are going through this. We’re more empowered. We know that we have the same rights as men,” she said.
“This is because of the advance of society and at Banfield we’re like pioneers,” Barbuto added.
She said that she did not know if soccer is a macho sport, per se, although society in general is. But she added that “we’ve advanced a lot. A lot remains to be done, but we’re light years beyond where we were last year.”
Barbuto said that Spinosa was leaving the club in “impeccable” shape, completely different from the organization “we received six years ago. We’ve managed to reduce the debt by 90 percent and we have … 350 employees … an impeccable structure, a (complex) that’s the envy of the rest of the Argentine clubs, and the stadium, the pitch, which is the home of all Banfield-supporters, is also impeccable.”