Home Sports Samoura’s appointment as FIFA General-Secretary excites Nigerian sportswriters, analysts

Samoura’s appointment as FIFA General-Secretary excites Nigerian sportswriters, analysts


Port Harcourt –  Sportswriters and analysts in Port Harcourt on Wednesday hailed the appointment of Ms Fatma Samoura as FIFA Secretary-General, describing it a loud testimony to African peoples’ administrative sagacity.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that FIFA Council had on May 13 appointed Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura of Senegal as FIFA Secretary General, the first woman and an African to occupy any of the world football governing body’s top positions.

A 21-year veteran of United Nations programmes, Samoura is currently the UN’s Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who made the announcement at the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico City, said:“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.

“Importantly for FIFA, she also understands that transparency and accountability are at the heart of any well-run and responsible organisation”.

As required under FIFA statutes, Samoura will undergo an eligibility check administered by the independent Review Committee as per Article 37 of the FIFA Statutes.

Samoura is expected to assume duties before mid-June.

Reacting to Samoura’s appointment, Gbenga James, sports editor, Rhythm 93.7 FM, told NAN in Port Harcourt that Samoura’s appointment was a credit to Africa and women in general.

James said it was a huge impression for an African to occupy the most powerful administrative position in the organization.

“It is a very huge impression because administratively that is the most powerful position in FIFA.

“So, for an African to get it and for a woman to get it, I think it is a very loud statement and big plus for the administrative sagacity of the African man or woman.

“It also shows that wherever you come from, whatever your gender is, merit will always speak for you and you will get what you deserve,” he said.

James said he was very hopeful that she would make positive impact in sports administration.

Also speaking, Honour Sirawoo, the National Vice-Chairman, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), South-South Chapter, noted that Samoura’s appointment was great for football as it showed creativity and expertise.

Sirawoo said the antecedent of women had shown that they were a set of people that showed commitment in whatever they do.

“Samoura’s appointment will bring the balance in gender; bring upliftment and stability to FIFA.

“It is a great recognition of excellence, expertise and Africa`s contributions to football development in the world. It shows that we are growing,” he told NAN.

Sirawoo said FIFA would have stability in sports administration because of her expertise.

“Samoura is a neutral person in sports politics. She will not be part of FIFA politics and bring in administrative stability.”

For Lekan Ige, a sports analyst and former Secretary of SWAN in Rivers, it was a good development for Africans and particularly women.

He said:“We have always advocated that women should be at the highest decision making level. We now have a female from Africa and it is good for us.

“It will also help football to develop more in Africa. It will make even women all over the world to think that if they aspire they can actually get something”.

Ige said as an administrator she would be able to function well in her present position.

“Football is all about administering, the essentials of management are the same.

“It will not take her too long to know what is actually happening in FIFA. She had worked with the UN and so she is well versed in administration.”

China Acheru, a blogger and media officer of defunct Dolphins FC of Port Harcourt, said Samoura’s appointment should be seen as preference for competence and not feminism.

According to him, the football world that voted Gianni Infantino as FIFA President trusts his judgment.

“I believe that he did not appoint her because she is a woman. He appointed her as Secretary General because he probably saw her track record.

“He knows that she can actually do what that office stands for. I trust the judgment of FIFA on her appointment,” he said. (NAN)

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