FIFA names Samoura as first female secretary general

Fri May 13, 2016 5:53pm EDT
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By Brian Homewood

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - FIFA named an African woman with no experience in soccer administration as its second most powerful official on Friday, part of changes made by the sport's ruling body to move on from a major corruption scandal.

However, FIFA's Congress also passed a resolution which gives its board, known as the FIFA Council, the power to fire the heads of its independent committees at almost any time.

The Congress also voted to accept Kosovo and Gibraltar as the organization's 210th and 211th members, opening the way for them to take part in the 2018 World Cup qualifying competition.

Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura of Senegal, the United Nations Development Program Resident Representative in Nigeria, was appointed as secretary general and will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the organization.

"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 in a statement.

Samoura's appointment was announced by president Gianni Infantino, hosting his first Congress since he was elected in February to lead the scandal-plagued federation out of its crisis.

"Fatma is a woman with international experience and vision who has worked on some of the most challenging issues of our time," Infantino said.

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

The FIFA logo is seen at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland March 18, 2016. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich