Opinion: Can This One African Woman Fix FIFA?
By Adrew Brennan | From Forbes (FIFA)
Over two weeks ago, Senegal’s Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura was appointed as FIFA’s first female Secretary General, succeeding Jerome Valcke, who was banned from any football-related activity for 12 years.
Being a UN veteran since 1995, she is a hopeful prospect to dilute the elitism of FIFA and brings in a non-profit and developmental approach.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino said “it is essential FIFA incorporates fresh perspectives as we continue to restore and rebuild our organization.”
Infantino, who was appointed in February, said Samoura’s appointment will foster accountability and transparency, a new-look to an organization drowned by corruption under previous president Sepp Blatter, who reigned FIFA from 1998 until 2015.
Given its sordid history of unequal gender representation, the appointment of the first woman to a senior position challenges previous accusations.
Bringing in an experienced, international institutional civil servant will soothe critique from sponsors, campaigners, and fans who have demanded a more independent figure, unassociated with football politics, to manage FIFA.
Samoura may rejuvenate a rotted and befouled FIFA structure of governance and compliance, especially since FIFA interim Secretary General Markus Kattner has been sacked over accusations of paying himself bonuses worth “millions of dollars.”
As the newly imposed reforms limit the powers of the FIFA president, Samoura arguably becomes the most important figure in an organization attempting to recover from the corruption of a crisis that has crippled it so.
Having said that, there are 4 reasons to be hopeful that Fatma Samoura, a Senegalese woman, could be vital in benefiting the footballing world:
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