World football governing body, FIFA, said yesterday that Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura has successfully passed the eligibility check conducted by the independent Review Committee.
The Senegalese will assume the role of FIFA Secretary General on June 20.
A statement on FIFA website said the Review Committee was established at the recent FIFA Congress in May, in particular to protect the organisation against any potential conflicts of interest in the approval of appointments.
It consists of former Advocate General of the European Court of Justice, Miguel Poiares Maduro, former Indian High Court judge Mukul Mudgal, and former chairman of Peruvian club Sporting Cristal, Felipe Cantuarias Salaverry.
The statement said the eligibility check was conducted in line with article 37 of the FIFA Statutes.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino made the announcement of the appointment of Senegalese Samoura on May 13 at the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico City.
FIFA said Samoura is a 21-year veteran of UN programmes, and was until her appointment the UN’s Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria.
“Fatma is a woman with international experience and vision who has worked on some of the most challenging issues of our time. She has a proven ability to build and lead teams, and improve the way organisations perform,” Infantino said.
“Importantly for FIFA, she also understands that transparency and accountability are at the heart of any well-run and responsible organisation,’’ he noted.
The FIFA president also praised Samoura’s integrity, and said the Council was particularly impressed with her operational experience, as well as her expertise in governance and working in multi-cultural environments.
He said her expertise will complement the long-standing and deep knowledge of world football within the FIFA leadership team and administration.
“It is essential for FIFA to incorporate fresh perspectives from outside the traditional pool of football executives, as we continue to restore and rebuild our organisation,’’ he said.
He also said: “No one exemplifies what we need more than Fatma does, and we are thrilled that she has joined our team.’’
Since starting her UN career as a senior logistics officer with the World Food Programme in Rome in 1995, she had served as country representative or director in six countries — Djibouti, Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Madagascar and Nigeria.
She speaks French, English, Spanish and Italian.
Responding to her appointment in May, Samoura said: “(Today) is a wonderful day for me, and I am honoured to take on the role of FIFA’s Secretary-General.
“And I believe this role is a perfect fit for my skills and experience – strategic, high impact team building in international settings which I will use to help grow the game of football all over the world.’’
“I also look forward to bringing my experience in governance and compliance to bear on the important reform work that is already underway at FIFA.
“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.
Ms. Samoura earned her masters degree in English and Spanish at the University of Lyon, France, and a post-masters degree in international relations and international trade from the Institut d’Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées (IECS), Strasbourg-France.