FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, appointed Senegal’s Fatma Samoura as its new secretary general. Not only is Samoura the first woman to ever hold the post, she is also the first African and non-European to do so.
Samoura replaces former secretary general Jerome Valcke, who was fired last September and banned from soccer for 12 years for the illegal sale of World Cup tickets that emerged in the wake of a massive corruption scandal involving the FIFA leaders. Valcke had held the position since 2007.
Samoura is expected to take office in mid-June, subject to an eligibility check in accordance with FIFA rules. Though she has no previous experience in the soccer world, Samoura comes into the job on the back of a 21-year career as a United Nations official with the World Food Programme, work that took her to six African countries as a director or representative.