FIFA names U.N. humanitarian expert Samoura as secretary general

Reuters News
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Posted: May 13, 2016 11:55 AM

By Brian Homewood

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Senegal's Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura, a United Nations veteran, became the first woman to be named as secretary general of soccer's world governing body FIFA on Friday.

The 52-year-old, currently the U.N. Development Program Resident Representative in Nigeria, will be responsible for the day-to-day running of FIFA which has been battered by corruption scandals over the past few years.

Her appointment was announced at FIFA's Congress by president Gianni Infantino, elected in February to lead the soccer federation out of the worst graft scandal in its history.

"Fatma is a woman with international experience and vision who has worked on some of the most challenging issues of our time,” he said in a statement issued by FIFA.

"Importantly for FIFA, she also understands that transparency and accountability are at the heart of any well-run and responsible organization.

"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 organization," he added.

Samoura began her United Nations career with the World Food Program in Rome in 1995 and has served as country representative or director in six African countries.

“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.

(Editing by Mark Heinrich and Ken Ferris)