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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.

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

Reuters

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Man divorces wife just 15 minutes after Islamic marriage in Dubai

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A man in Dubai divorced his bride just 15 minutes after their Islamic marriage as he felt ‘insulted’ by her father’s bride price demands.

The man agreed to pay his new father-in-law Dh100,000 for their wedding but the older man became impatient to get the cash, DailyMail reported.

According to Gulf News, family members and friends accompanied the couple to a Sharia judge’s office to witness the marriage contract being signed. The groom then gave Dh 50,000 on the spot as agreed, with the rest to come after the party left the court building, according to Gulf News.

But, the bride’s father demanded the remaining cash as soon as the signing was over, even though the groom didn’t have it on him.

He said it would only take five minutes to walk to his car, which was parked outside, and get the rest of the bride price.

Instead of letting him retrieve it, the father insisted him to pay either right then or send a friend or relative to get the money while he stayed inside.

The groom felt insulted and demeaned by the series of demands and called off the marriage immediately, a lawyer handling the case said.

‘He told the bride’s father that he did not want his daughter as his wife and divorced her in less than 15 minutes from signing the marriage contract,’ he said.

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