UEFA's General Secretary ad interim Theodore Theodoridis is relishing the challenge of his new position – and has described UEFA's future relations with the world governing body FIFA as "the opportunity of a lifetime".
The 50-year-old Greek, national associations director at UEFA since 2008 and deputy general secretary since October 2010, was appointed by the UEFA Executive Committee at its meeting in Nyon on Friday, following last week's election of his predecessor Gianni Infantino as FIFA President.
"I've grown up in football, and [the game] has a large role in my life," he told UEFA.org. "I'm proud of working for UEFA, I'm proud of its past, I'm proud of what we've done and I'm proud of what we will do. So for me, it's a big honour."
Theodoridis sees the chance of genuine progress in the relationship between UEFA and the rest of the football world. "I believe we have the opportunity of a lifetime," he reflected. "Now is the moment for UEFA to show real solidarity and be close to the other confederations, and to completely change the relationship with FIFA to make it productive for football. We cannot get [this opportunity] wrong."
UEFA's 40th Ordinary Congress in Budapest in May will feature the election for the first time by Europe's national associations of a female representative on the UEFA Executive Committee. "It's very good for the credibility of the member," Theodoridis emphasised, "because this was the only Executive Committee position that was not elected, it was an appointment.
"This must not stop here," he continued. "We have to expand the number of women in [senior] positions. I'm very positive for female participation in football management."