On Monday 30 May 2016, just over two weeks after having been appointed by the FIFA Council as the next FIFA Secretary General, Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura paid a courtesy visit to the Home of FIFA in Zurich.
Ms Samoura took part in a management meeting alongside FIFA President Gianni Infantino and later addressed the FIFA team, which she will be leading as of 20 June 2016, the date she is scheduled to take up the position.
During her address to the staff, the first woman to be appointed to the position of FIFA Secretary General delivered an inspiring speech and provided a first glimpse at how she intends to take the executive helm of the organisation.
“In order to achieve our goals we have decided to introduce an improved structure that will make FIFA more efficient and fit its purpose of developing football everywhere. FIFA’s administration will be split into two dedicated pillars: one designed to generate financial returns and operating the administrative work that comes along with it, and another one focused on developing football and organising competitions,” said Ms Samoura, who announced the Deputy Secretary Generals who will be spearheading these two pillars: Marco Villiger on the commercial and administrative side, as well as former Croatian international Zvonimir Boban for the football pillar.
The Senegalese diplomat is a 21-year veteran of United Nations systems and had been currently acting as the UN’s Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme’s Resident Representative in Nigeria. She focused her speech to the FIFA staff on the commitment to the statutory reforms approved in February and to restoring public trust in the organisation by shifting the focus back to football.
“It is my goal to keep on putting the reforms into action and to help FIFA in its process of being recognised as an institution that is run under the principles of good governance, and one that people may be proud of,” said Ms Samoura. “I cannot think of more exciting a job than this and I am happy to embark in this journey of bringing an inclusive agenda to FIFA and developing football for all. I want to help making FIFA a place where it is good to live.”
In response, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: “Ms Samoura has not even started in the job yet but it was great to see her already building a strong rapport with the team. I am enthusiastic about the positive impact that she can bring to the organisation with her ideas.”