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Tanzania’s Hottest Football Club Makes a Bold Move

Facing prejudice because of her age and gender is something Barbara Gonzalez has grown accustomed to since being appointed a board member of one of Africa’s most followed football teams. Last week, two years after taking her place on the board of Tanzanian champions Simba, the 30-year-old was made the first female CEO of any football club in the country. Ultimately, the club’s estimated 20 million supporters will be hoping she gets it right but in the shorter term she has been having to prove herself to a far smaller crowd. “I have gone to two or three league meetings where they look at me thinking ‘What does this woman know about anything? What does this young person know?’,” Gonzalez tells BBC Sport Africa. But she is bucking the trend in other ways too – not least of all the fact that her appointment represents a bold and bright significant step in local football administration. While her experience of football is understandably more limited given her age, Gonzalez arrives with an impressive CV. After studying economics in the US, development management in England and various internships in the United Nations, Gonzalez’s first job upon returning home to Tanzania in 2014 was as a public sector consultant for a leading financial group.