Fifa took a dramatic step forward on Friday with the announcement by president Gianni Infantino that Senegal’s Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura will be the new secretary-general. She takes over from sacked and banned Jérôme Valcke.
The role has been undertaken on an interim basis by finance director Markus Kattner since last year, when Frenchman Valcke was initially suspended.
Samoura has been working with UN programmes for the past two decades and is its resident humanitarian coordinator.
The decision was proposed by Infantino under his responsibilities as president and approved by the new Fifa Council, which has replaced the old, derided executive committee.
In appointing a black woman from the developing world, Infantino, in one fell swoop, has ticked a host of progressive diversity boxes.
He said: “Since my election, I’ve been looking at the organisational structure of Fifa. After I did some research, we thought we needed to create more efficiency and more effective cost-management. We should split the administration into a football part and an administrative business part.
“I believe in embracing diversity and I like to act with facts and not with words ... This was the most competent person I have proposed to the council, who accepted.”
As required under Fifa statutes, Samoura will undergo an eligibility check and, all being well, will take over early next month.
Infantino praised her integrity and said the council was impressed with her operational experience, as well as her expertise in governance and working in multicultural environments.
Samoura earned her master’s degree in English and Spanish at the University of Lyon, and received a post-master’s degree in international relations and international trade from the Institut d’Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées in France.
She spent eight years in the private sector, working in the fertiliser trading sector for Senchim, a subsidiary of Industries Chimiques du Senegal. Her areas of responsibility included product export and import programmes, tenders and the establishment of a national distribution network.
She said: “Today is a wonderful day for me, and I am honoured to take on the role of Fifa’s secretary-general. 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.”
This article first appeared on the AIPS website. Radnedge is AIPS Football Commission chair
. This positive move was soured as Reuters reported yesterday that Swiss businessman Domenico Scala, who led reforms to clean up the scandal-plagued world football governing body, had quit his post.
He claimed Fifa’s independent watchdog committees had lost their independence.
The head of the audit and compliance committee said the reform of Fifa had been undermined following a resolution at the Congress on Friday, which gives it the right to fire Scala, ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert and ethics investigator Cornel Borbely.
The ethics committee, which was reformed in 2012, has investigated and banned more than a dozen top officials for ethics violations.
Scala said the new rule “undermines a central pillar of the good governance of Fifa”.
. Meanwhile, CNBCAfrica reports that South African businesswoman Wendy Luhabe and British entrepreneur Mervyn Davies have been appointed to World Rugby’s executive committee.
Chair Bernard Lapasset said his organisation was delighted to be welcoming the pair.
Luhabe is chair and founder of the Women Private Equity Fund and has held governance roles with Vodacom, the Industrial Development Corporation and the JSE.