Date of Birth: 1 February 1961
Executive Committee member since: 2012
Current UEFA roles
Executive Committee (member)
Women’s Football Committee (chairwoman)
Development and Technical Assistance Committee (deputy chairwoman)
• Deputy chief executive for the Sør-Trøndelag county authority at the Sør-Trøndelag Fylkeskommune, Karen Espelund has been passionate about football since her early childhood. She began playing with the Trondheims-Ørn club, and played more than 300 matches, also serving as a club board member from the age of 17. A midfielder, she played two times for the Norwegian national women’s team.
• From 1985, Espelund served the Norwegian Football Association (NFF) as a member of the Women’s Committee, and joined the regional federations’ board in 1986. In 1988, she was elected to the NFF Executive Committee, serving as vice-president from 1996 to 1999, when she was appointed general secretary – a position she held for ten years. She became a member of the UEFA Women’s Football Committee in 1990, and has served as first vice-chairwoman (2007-11) and chairwoman (2000-07; from 2011). She first joined the UEFA Executive Committee as a member by invitation – the first woman to do so - in 2011, and became a full member in spring 2012.
• Football is Espelund’s passion – she remains a keen veteran player - but she is also interested in music, mostly classical, and literature. Cross-country skiing and mountain hiking are also among her hobbies. “One of the important tasks is to let every child who wants to play football, to have such a possibility in her or his neighbourhood,” she says. “Therefore, we still have good work to do in European football – so that every child can fulfill her or his dream.”
Previous UEFA roles
Fair Play Committee 1990-92
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