Top players and female coaches from around the world. Promotion of LGBTQ issues. Community markets outside stadiums. Monetization of players’ biometric data.

Kikuko Okajima’s vision for the WE League, Japan’s new professional women’s soccer competition, is nothing short of ambitious.

But despite playing a key role in the organization of the Japanese women’s game and a successful career in the financial sector, it wasn’t until the coronavirus made virtual meetings the “new normal” that she was in a position to take up the role of chair — from her home in Baltimore, Maryland.