Fatma Samoura, FIFA’s first female Secretary-General, is the change needed in international sports
Holding a senior position in a male-dominated organization like FIFA is no easy feat for Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura.
The 56-year-old Senegalese, who is the first female secretary general of football’s world governing body recently revealed the sexism and racism she encountered when she took over the job.
“There are people who don’t think that a black woman should be leading the administration of Fifa. It’s sometimes as simple as that.
“It is something we are fighting on a daily basis on the pitch – I don’t want any racist person around me.
“Nobody asks a man when he takes a position if he’s competent to do the job. They just assume that he can do the job. For a woman to make her way up to the top – you need to prove every single day that you are the best fit for that position,” she told the BBC in an interview.
Samoura took over from Jerome Valcke in May 2016, who was found guilty of misconduct and sacked in June 2016.
Many welcomed Samoura’s appointment: she was going to be the first woman to hold FIFA’s second-most powerful post.
Critics, however, raised questions about whether Samoura was going to succeed considering she had no previous sporting experience.
Others also wanted to know why FIFA had taken so long to bring a woman or a non-European on its executive.
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