Though for years, being a black woman has not been an easy or very favorable thing, society is paving way for new opportunities in different policy designated spheres for woman. One of the most recent is FIFA’s appointment of Fatma Samoura, a Senegalese woman as Secretary-General.

She is an African, and first African woman for that matter to hold that post. She succeeds former Secretary-General Jerome Valcke, who was recently banned from football-related activity for 12 years.

Ms Samoura is no stranger to international affairs. She has an impressive background and a 21-year work experience with the United Nations. She started her UN career as a senior logistics officer with the World Food Programme in Rome in 1995.

She 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.

“Fatma is a woman with international experience and vision who has worked on some of the most challenging issues of our time,” President Infantino said. “She has a proven ability to build and lead teams, and improve the way organizations perform. Importantly for FIFA, she also understands that transparency and accountability are at the heart of any well-run and responsible organization.”

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

“Today is a wonderful day for me, and I am honored to take on this role. 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,” she said.

Author: Ope Adedeji