Fatma Samoura named first female secretary general of FIFA

FIFA broke new ground by appointing a Senegalese United Nations official Fatma Samoura as its first female and first non-European secretary general on Friday in Mexico City. The 54-year-old, who will replace the fired Jerome Valcke if she passes an eligibility check and will also be the first non-European secretary general, is currently working in development for the UN in Nigeria. She will take her post by mid-June after undergoing an eligibility check administered by an independent review committee.

Fifa, meanwhile, resumed this week the process to select the host of the 2026 World Cup, which had been frozen since last year over claims of misdeeds in awarding the tournaments to Russia for 2018 and Qatar for 2022.

Little about Fatma Samoura

  1. 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.
  2. Fatma is a woman with international experience and vision who has worked on some of the most challenging issues of our time.
  3. Earlier, she has worked on humanitarian crises with the United Nations for 21 years.  Currently, she is in Nigeria for the UN Development Programme.
  4. She speaks French (her mother tongue), English, Spanish and Italian.
  5. Prior to joining the UN, Samoura spent eight years in the private sector, working in the fertiliser trading sector for Senchim, a subsidiary of Industries Chimiques du Senegal.

About FIFA

  1. The FIFA: International Federation of Association Football is the governing body of association football, futsal and beach soccer.
  2. FIFA is responsible for the organisation of football’s major international tournaments, notably the World Cup which commenced in 1930 and the Women’s World Cup which commenced in 1991.
  3. Its headquarter is at Zurich, Switzerland.
  4. Its current president is Gianni Infantino.


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