Samoura defends abolishment of racism task force


FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura has defended the decision to abolish the governing body's racism taskforce, claiming its mandate has been "clearly fulfilled".

The task force was established in 2013 by then-FIFA president Sepp Blatter but doubts persist about its success two years away from a World Cup in Russia - a country that has had numerous problems with racism in recent times.

Nevertheless, speaking at the Soccerex convention in Manchester, Samoura expressed confidence that the information gleaned will be used by FIFA going forward.

She said: "The taskforce had a very specific mandate, which, to our knowledge, has been clearly fulfilled.

"Their recommendations are now being turned into a programme, and a strong one.

"My presence here is a testimony that FIFA has a zero tolerance policy on any extremism in regard to football, including discrimination on the grounds of culture, race, sexual orientation or social expectation."

Samoura, who succeeded Jerome Valcke in the FIFA role in May, insists "discrimination is at the top for the new FIFA organisation" and vowed to crack down on human rights violations ahead of World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

The Senegalese added: "We can live with perception, but we are taking our role very seriously as the world's governing body for football in fighting discrimination.

"It's well reflected in the status of FIFA, and today our mandate is to ensure the provision for fighting any kind of discrimination comes with serious repercussions. Discrimination is at the top for the new FIFA organisation."