One of the few women running a top-tier European football club says she is stepping down this year for health reasons.

FC Basel President Gisela Oeri, popularly known as ''Gigi,'' is a philanthropist who invested millions of Swiss francs (dollars) in the club since joining the board of directors in 1999.

The 55-year-old Oeri married into the family which part owns the Basel-based Roche Holding AG pharmaceuticals giant.

She has been Basel president for five years, during which time the club has won three Swiss league titles.

Oeri's leadership will end in December after Basel competes again in the Champions League group stage.

She will be succeeded by vice president Bernhard Heusler.