FIFA elections: Should football elect a woman to replace Sepp Blatter?

    (CNN)All eyes are on FIFA and who will replace the outgoing Sepp Blatter -- but could one of Africa's leading women be set to revolutionize world football in the coming years?

    Sierra Leone's Isha Johansen is one of only two women to have held the role of football association presidents out of 209 member countries, and no woman has ever led the governing body.
    Since joining FIFA in 2013, she has worked tirelessly for her federation, notably in helping her nation's battle against the deadly Ebola virus.
    "Why not?" said Johansen when asked if she was interested in becoming FIFA president, though she is unlikely to stand in the upcoming election.
    "If the time is right. It's a learning process. I have learned so much in the years that I've been in football," she told CNN.
    "In the two years I've been president, I've met all kinds of individuals and characters.
    "Yes, it would be wonderful wouldn't it -- but I might decide to do something else."
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    Blatter's announcement Tuesday that he will bring an end to his 17-year tenure was a moment which, according to Johansen, brought both "surprise and relief."
    The 79-year-old will step down from his role when a fresh election determines his successor.
    There will also be elections for the executive committee (ExCo) -- which could tempt Johansen to make her move for one of the coveted seats.
    Her work in the fight against Ebola and the establishment of her own football team -- FC Johansen -- has attracted much positive attention.
    "Yes, if I've earned it," she says about contesting for a place on the ExCo. "If people feel that it's right for me to be there and if I've got the right approach and if I'm up to it.
    "It would be nice, it would be an achievement. That's what I'm all about -- rising above the odds, chasing the dream.
    "That's my club's motto. It's not only just a dream -- but what do you do with that dream? You chase it -- you're in hot pursuit of it."
    At the moment, just three women sit on the ExCo -- Australian Moya Dodd and Sonia Bien-Aime of Turks and Caicos were both co-opted onto the committee, while Lydia Nsekera of Burundi is the only other female in the group despite losing her role as FA president.
    While Johansen says the thought of a woman becoming president is "lovely," she remains an opponent of quotas.
    "To see more women on the ExCo would be lovely -- but only if you merit it," she said.
    "You've got to have earned that place. You don't put in women for the sake of the fact she's a woman.
    "I would hate for people to think that I am where I am because I'm a woman.
    "I'm where I am because of what I've done. I've always said that my deeds or what I've achieved is my walking billboard."
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    Last Friday, Blatter celebrated winning a fifth term in office after winning the presidential election ahead of Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, who conceded after trailing in the opening round of voting.
    Now, the organization which the Swiss administrator has led since 1998 is in turmoil.
    Ahead of last week's election, an investigation in the United States resulted in the FBI arresting nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives. The American probe has targeted what one high-ranking IRS official labeled "the World Cup of fraud."
    While Blatter wasn't charged by the Justice Department, he isn't in the clear. U.S. officials told CNN on Tuesday that the FBI corruption investigation into FIFA's president continues.
    There is also a separate criminal investigation by Swiss authorities into how the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were allocated.
    Both FIFA and Blatter have been heavily criticized in the past week, particularly in Europe and North America.
    But Johansen says the Blatter she knows is not a tyrant or a dictator.
    "I see him as a father figure," she said. "From day one he came across as that. On that first day I went to Zurich to present myself as a new FA president, he was delighted.
    "He sat down with me and started to tell me about Sierra Leone and the first time he stepped foot in the country years ago, maybe in the late '70s and early '80s.
    "You could see that he took a great interest in the African continent and the people and culture.
    "I saw him as someone who really embraced our continent, and people, as being, 'Yeah, you guys are the underdogs and I will use this office and power to make you a force to be reckoned with because you do have huge talents in your countries but not the resources or structure.'
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    "This is what the African football associations respect about him -- his legacy.
    "This was a man in Europe, from Europe, at the helm of football power who said, 'No, Africa, you have just as much if not more talent, than the rest of the world, you don't have the structures -- I will build you so you become a force to be reckoned with.'"
    Candidates are expected to come forward to make their case to replace Blatter in the next few weeks
    "This is a very sobering time for the entire football family," said Johansen.
    "We have to look at ourselves and see where we want to go and how we conduct ourselves.
    "Where is FIFA heading? It's obviously going to be a lot more turbulent. Every day seems to come up with new revelations and incidents happening. I think it's going to be a very difficult time."