Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura has been appointed as the secretary general of FIFA, becoming the first female to hold the position.
Samoura takes up the position following 21 years working for the United Nations, replacing Jerome Valcke who was sacked in February amid allegations linking him to a scheme that intended to sell tickets for the 2014 World Cup at above their face value.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino believes the Senegalese can help improve the way the organisation operates and support its strive towards greater transparency.
“Fatma is a woman with international experience and vision who has worked on some of the most challenging issues of our time,” said Infantino during the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico City.
“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.”
Samoura, who is set to assume the role in mid-June, added it was an “honour” to take on the job and is excited to help implement the reform plans passed in February.
“Today is a wonderful day for me, and I am honoured to take on the role of FIFA’s secretary general,” she said.
“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.”