FIFA have appointed Senegalese United Nations official Fatma Samoura as the body’s new Secretary General.
Samoura is the first ever woman to hold the post, and was announced by FIFA president Gianni Infantino at the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico City. Samoura will have to undergo an eligibility check first before she can start in the postion previously held by the banned Jerome Valcke.
A statement read: “Ms. Samoura is a 21-year veteran of United Nations programmes who is currently the UN’s Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria.
“Since starting her UN career as a senior logistics officer with the World Food Programme in Rome in 1995, Ms. Samoura has served as country representative or director in six countries: Republic of Djibouti, Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Madagascar and Nigeria. She speaks French (her mother tongue), English, Spanish and Italian.
“In her current UN role in Nigeria, Ms. Samoura has wide-ranging responsibilities including budgeting, human resources, and procurement, among others. She coordinates the activities of approximately 2,000 staff members, and monitors and evaluates the security, political and socio-economic situation and trends in Africa’s most populous country.”
Infantino said: “Fatma is a woman with international experience and vision who has worked on some of the most challenging issues of our time. She has a proven ability to build and lead teams, and improve the way organisations perform. Importantly for FIFA, she also understands that transparency and accountability are at the heart of any well-run and responsible organisation.
“It is essential for FIFA to incorporate fresh perspectives — from outside the traditional pool of football executives — as we continue to restore and rebuild our organisation. No one exemplifies what we need more than Fatma does, and we are thrilled that she has joined our team.”
Ms. Samoura added: “Today is a wonderful day for me, and I am honored to take on the role of FIFA’s Secretary General. I believe this role is a perfect fit for my skills and experience — strategic, high impact team building in international settings — which I will use to help grow the game of football all over the world. I also look forward to bringing my experience in governance and compliance to bear on the important reform work that is already underway at FIFA.
“FIFA is taking a fresh approach to its work — and I am eager to play a role in making that approach as effective and lasting as possible.”