FIFA Secretary General steps down after serving for seven years

Samoura was the first woman and non-European to hold the position

By
Web Desk
This handout photograph taken and released by FIFA on October 20, 2021, shows FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura attending a Council meeting at the Home of FIFA in Zurich. FIFA said on June 14, 2023.—AFP
This handout photograph taken and released by FIFA on October 20, 2021, shows FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura attending a Council meeting at the Home of FIFA in Zurich. FIFA said on June 14, 2023.—AFP  

Fatma Samoura, the secretary general of Fifa, has announced her decision to step down from the role after serving for seven years in order to dedicate more time to her family. Appointed in 2016, the 60-year-old will oversee the upcoming Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand before officially leaving at the end of the year.

Samoura, the first woman and non-European to hold the position, was a surprising choice following the election of Gianni Infantino as FIFA president. Reflecting on her tenure, she expressed her satisfaction with the decision to join Fifa, stating, "It was the best decision of my life to join Fifa." The former Senegalese diplomat and United Nations official also expressed her pride in leading a diverse team and highlighted the progress made in terms of governance, transparency, and reliability within the organisation. She expressed a deep sense of pride and fulfilment as she prepared to depart from Fifa.

In the immediate future, Samoura remains fully focused on preparing and delivering the upcoming Women's World Cup. However, starting from next year, she intends to prioritise spending quality time with her family. With a lifelong passion for football since the age of eight, Samoura expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to be part of Fifa's journey and contribute to the development of the game.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino paid tribute to Samoura, acknowledging her as a trailblazer in the game. He expressed his privilege and honour in working alongside her, recognising her passion and enthusiasm for driving positive change within the organisation. Infantino stated his respect for Samoura's decision to depart from the role and expressed his confidence that she will continue to contribute to the game's development and its social values.

During Samoura's tenure as Fifa's secretary general, women's football has experienced increased popularity and organisational advancements. The upcoming 2023 Women's World Cup, featuring 32 teams, is set to be the largest women's competition to date, reflecting the growth and significance of women's football on the global stage.