Samoura takes office, seeks to lift FIFA’s morale
New Secretary General, Fatma Samoura, says the appointment of chief financial and compliance officials and improving FIFA’s governance structure are her top priorities.
The FIFA new general secretary officially started work this week following her appointment at the federation’s congress in May by president Gianni Infantino. The 54-year-old from Senegal is the first woman and non-European to hold the post.
Tasked with reviving the fortunes of the scandal-battered world football body, Samoura has much to prove to those who have questioned Infantino appointing his No.2 from outside football.
Asked about her main priorities in her first weeks in the job, she spoke about the need to have the senior executive staff – “good leaders” – appointed as soon as possible, including the chief financial officer and the chief compliance officer.
She referenced the downfall of the disgraced former FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, her predecessor, Jerome Valcke, financial chief, Markus Kattner and a slew of scandals now being investigated separately by U.S. and Swiss authorities.
Samoura said her second focus was on FIFA staff, “who have been going through extreme stress over the last 12 months because of the corruption scandals that have had a negative impact on the morale. So I am here to boost the morale of the staff.
“And my third priority is to ensure that the new directives that govern FIFA, which have been recently approved at the congress, are internalised and rightly disseminated, so that the staff really starts getting used to them.
“Finally, I want to inject diversity, more equity, a better governance structure, a stronger monitoring and evaluation system and an obligation to inform and report on the good deeds of FIFA.”