FIFA’s new general secretary, Fatma Samoura, said Friday her priority was restoring trust including among the organisation’s corporate sponsors, with FIFA in “a very turbulent moment” after more than a year of scandal.

Samoura took over as the number two at world football’s governing body last month, after her appointment by President Gianni Infantino.

“The reputational damage that all the financial scandals have caused to FIFA needs to be repaired,” Samoura was quoted as saying in an interview with FIFA’s in-house magazine.

“I need to restore the trust and confidence of our partners and our commercial affiliates,” she added.

Massive World Cup sponsors like Visa and Coca Cola were among the most powerful voices calling for sweeping reform as the graft that plagued ex-FIFA boss Sepp Blatter’s administration came to light.

Samoura spent 21 years at the United Nations Development Programme before being hired by Blatter’s replacement Infantino in May.

Her two immediate predecessors in the general secretary’s job — Markus Kattner and Jerome Valcke — were both sacked over corruption.

Samoura has been tasked with day-to-day management of a massive reform drive implemented by FIFA in response to a web of unprecedented scandals that have brought down the most powerful names in world football.

A key plank of the reform plan is boosting the role of women in football management.

“I’ll be personally having a much closer look at applications from women for senior positions in FIFA,” Samoura said. – Agence France-Presse

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