FIFA’s Samoura says encountered racism, sexism

Fatma Samoura

LONDON (Reuters) – FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said she encountered sexism and racism when she took over the job, with some in soccer opposed to a “black woman” taking a senior post at the global governing body.

The 55-year-old Senegalese was the first woman to hold a senior role at FIFA when she took over from Jerome Valcke, who was sacked in January 2016 as part of the fall-out from the corruption scandal that rocked the organisation.

Samoura said she had “broken the glass ceiling” in a “male-dominated organisation”, adding “they are used to me now”.

“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,” Samoura told the BBC.

“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.”