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Fatma Samoura appointed FIFA secretary‑general

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MEXICO CITY — FIFA has appointed a Senegalese UN diplomat as its first ever female secretary-general, a surprise and historic move announced at a congress to overhaul the scandal-hit organisation.

Fatma Samoura, who is currently based in Nigeria for the UN Development Program, will be responsible for the day-to-day running of football’s world governing body.

Her appointment was announced at FIFA’s congress in Mexico City by president Gianni Infantino, elected in February to lead the soccer federation out of the worst graft scandal in its history.

“Fatma is a woman with international experience and vision who has worked on some of the most challenging issues of our time,” he said in a statement issued by FIFA.

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

“It is essential for FIFA to incorporate fresh perspectives — from outside the traditional pool of football executives — as we continue to restore and rebuild our organisation.”

Ms Samoura, 52, began her United Nations career with the World Food Program in Rome in 1995 and has served as country representative or director in six African countries.

“FIFA is taking a fresh approach to its work — and I am eager to play a role in making that approach as effective and lasting as possible,” she said.

Ms Samoura will take her post by mid-June after undergoing an eligibility check administered by an independent review committee.

The former secretary-general, Jerome Valcke of France, was sacked in January and banned from football for 12 years over misconduct in television deals and World Cup ticket sales — one of the many scandals that have tainted FIFA.

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Germany’s Markus Kattner had been serving as interim secretary-general since then.

Reuters

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ICC WCL Div II: Nepal suffer 7 runs defeat

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KATHMANDU — Nepal suffered a seven runs defeat at the hands of UAE in the final of the ICC World Cricket League Division II at Windhoek, Namibia, on Thursday.

After being runner-up of the tournament, Nepal are now seeded in Group B along with the hosts Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Scotland and Hong Kong for the ICC World Cup Qualifier tournament to be held in Zimbabwe on March.

With the conclusion of the tournament, Nepal are also promoted to ICC World Cricket League Division I.

Chasing the target of 277 runs, Nepal could muster only 270 runs with the loss of eight wickets in the allotted 50 overs.

Skipper Paras Khadka struck unbeaten 112 runs in 103 balls cracking eight sixes and three boundaries while Dipendra Singh Aire scored 35 off 66 balls including two sixes. Khadka and Aire scored 69 runs partnership for Nepal.

Similarly, Gyanendra Malla contributed 24 off 25 balls including one four while Dilip Nath made 13 off 29 balls smashing two boundaries. Sharad Veswakar was sent back to pavilion with 30 off 37 balls including three boundaries while Arif Sheikh scored seven runs off 11 balls with two fours.

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Rohit Kumar Paudel contributed 23 off 17 balls including four boundaries on the board. Karan KC, who was the hero of the match against Canada, Sompal Kami and Basanta Regmi failed to make double digit score.

Imran Haider took two Nepali scalps while Rohan Mustafa and Ahmed Raza chipped in with a wicket each.

After winning the toss, UAE elected to bat first and amassed a challenging total of 277/4 runs for Nepal to chase.

Opener Ashfaq Ahmed hit a century and his opening partner Rohan Mustafa also got a half-century as UAE piled up runs against the Nepali bowling attack.

Ahmed hit three sixes and 10 boundaries for his 123-ball 114 while Mustafa scored 51 from 74 balls as the pair added 109 runs for the first wicket. Shaiman Anwar (40) and Rameez Shahzad (41) also added late on to compile a massive total.

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Sompal Kami, Sandip Lamichhane and Basanta Regmi took a wicket each for Nepal.

Rameez Shahzad remained not out on 41 off 46 balls with one four and one six. Shiman Anwar hit brisk 40 off 24 balls with two fours and three sixes.

Sandeep Lamichanne, Basanta Regmi and Sompal Kami chipped in a wicket each.

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