In a move specifically targeted to lift some of the dark clouds of suspicion hanging over the head of football’s governing body, FIFA, after a slew of bans and outings of top executives, new president Gianni Infantino has surprised the world with a new appointment.
Gianni Infantino has appointed the first ever female secretary general in the organization’s history as he battles to restore its flailing image and reputation. His choice, Fatma Samoura a Senegalese UN official with no previous experience in sport; she’s worked at the UN since 1995, acting as a representative or director in six countries in the latter part of those years.
She is expected to project an air of freshness, being the most senior executive, and hopefully restore a little faith in the organization. As Infantino put it;
“She is used to managing big organizations, big budgets, human resources, finance,” Infantino told Fifa’s Congress in Mexico City. “She will bring a fresh wind to Fifa, somebody from outside not somebody from inside, not somebody from the past. Somebody new, somebody who can help us do the right thing in the future.”
Fatma Samoura still has an eligibility test ahead of her to scale through, but if she does, she will replace Jérôme Valcke – one of the FIFA executives banned over varied corruption allegations. Mr. Valcke was banned for 12 years.
Samoura also spoke on the offered role stating;
“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 under way at Fifa.”
Infantino also unveiled a four-year build-up to the next World Cup hosting decision and outlined his plans to increase the amount of development funding to member associations. He said regarding the latter; “Fifa will increase the investment for member associations. It’s not just throwing out money; we will ask for more accountability,” adding, “This money is to invest in football. Don’t betray us.”