Samoura named first female secretary-general of FIFA

UN diplomat Fatma Samoura, who is currently based in Nigeria for the United Nations Development Program, has worked across Africa for the UN for the last two decades.

Published : May 13, 2016 21:28 IST , Mexico City

Fatma Samoura is a Senegalese diplomat with the United Nations.
Fatma Samoura is a Senegalese diplomat with the United Nations.

Fatma Samoura is a Senegalese diplomat with the United Nations.

Senegalese UN diplomat Fatma Samoura has been appointed as FIFA's new secretary general on Friday, making her the first female number two ever at world football's governing body.

According to, Samoura, a 21-year veteran of United Nations programmes, is currently the UN’s Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria. The announcement was made by FIFA president Gianni Infantino at the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico City.

“Fatma is a woman with international experience and vision who has worked on some of the most challenging issues of our time,” Infantino said. “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.”

As required under FIFA statutes, Samoura will undergo an eligibility check administered by the independent Review Committee, per Article 37 of the FIFA Statutes. Samoura will assume the role of FIFA Secretary General before mid-June.

The former secretary general, Jerome Valcke of France, was sacked in January and banned from football for 12 years over misconduct in television deals and World Cup ticket sales - one of the many scandals that hit FIFA. Germany's Markus Kattner has been serving as interim secretary general since then.

The FIFA congress is due to confirm a series of reforms aimed at cleaning up the organization, which Infantino took over from Sepp Blatter in February after his disgraced Swiss compatriot resigned.

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