Fatma Samoura Honoured with Inaugural WFS Lifetime Achievement Award

Posting on X, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said: “Truly honoured to receive the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award from @WFSummit The award belongs to all the people who created this beautiful legacy by dedicating their lives to our game. Thanks for your unwavering support & commitment.Let's keep inspiring with the magic of football.” Photo: FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura on X

In a historic moment at the 2023 World Football Summit in Seville, Spain, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura was awarded the inaugural World Football Summit (WFS) Lifetime Achievement Award. Samoura, who made history in 2016 as the first woman, non-European, and Muslim to assume the role of FIFA Secretary General, concluded over two decades of service with the United Nations before taking on this pivotal position.

During her tenure, Samoura spearheaded profound institutional reforms within FIFA, instilling renewed confidence in its financial transparency. Collaborating closely with FIFA President Gianni Infantino, she became a leading voice in advocating for women’s rightful inclusion in the realm of football.

The recently concluded FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ shattered records, with nearly two million fervent fans flocking to stadiums and an estimated two billion tuning in from around the globe—an impressive surge from the 2019 edition. Equally noteworthy was the substantial increase in prize money allocated to participating nations.

At a riveting Q&A panel event alongside Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, Samoura emphasised the transformative potential of women’s football in driving social change. “When women play football, the impact in society is immediate,” asserted the Secretary General, addressing an audience of 2,500 delegates comprising esteemed figures from both the football and industry sectors, all united in their mission to revolutionise the global football landscape.

Samoura spotlighted Morocco as a striking testament to the rapid pace of societal evolution achievable through the convergence of political will and FIFA’s unwavering determination. She recounted Morocco’s journey from a nascent women’s football scene to their historic knockout stage debut in this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, underscoring the principle that with unwavering dedication, nothing is beyond reach.

Born in Senegal, Samoura recounted poignant instances where football served as a unifying force, even in regions marred by conflict. She recounted instances in Africa where warring factions momentarily set aside their differences in the wake of on-pitch triumphs.

As the year draws to a close, Samoura prepares to step down from her role, but retirement is not on the horizon. Armed with the Lifetime Achievement award, she remains resolute in her pursuit of social justice. “Social justice is really my hobby now, and I would like to use the power and my position to really make people feel that they are part of one society,” she affirmed, highlighting the urgency of bridging gender disparities and addressing inequality within nations.

In her parting words, Samoura implored for collective action in safeguarding the environment for future generations. “We cannot continue living in a world where disparities between genders are becoming bigger and bigger,” she implored, “and, definitely, the protection of the environment to leave our children a healthier planet is something also that should matter.”

Fatma Samoura’s indomitable spirit and transformative leadership have left an indelible mark on the world of football and beyond, igniting a legacy that will resonate for generations to come.


Photo Caption: Posting on X, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said: “Truly honoured to receive the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award from @WFSummit The award belongs to all the people who created this beautiful legacy by dedicating their lives to our game. Thanks for your unwavering support & commitment.Let’s keep inspiring with the magic of football.” Photo: FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura on X

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