Samar Nassar: From Olympic swimmer to JFA leader

Samar Nassar
Samar Nassar (Photo: Jordan News/Saher Qaddara)
AMMAN — With two decades of experience in sports, Jordan Football Association (JFA) Secretary General Samar Nassar says it was no coincidence that she was the “first” Jordanian and Arab woman to hold this senior position. اضافة اعلان

“I have extensive experience that spans 20 years. Over the past eight years, I focused on football through my position as CEO of the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup, held in Jordan in 2016, which FIFA said was a great success,” Nassar told Jordan News. 

The JFA leader added that serving as a member of the association’s board, she has managed to keep in close touch with Jordanian football, recounting that she has also worked as a consultant for FIFA, in addition to serving on a number of local, and international committees. 

“My selection for this position is an investment in Jordanian capabilities. I hope I can take advantage of my experience to reach (the JFA’s) objectives and face challenges,” Nassar said.

She explained that her approach to work is “methodical and institutional”, as it seeks to develop sports in the Kingdom, adding that stakeholder cooperation is key to addressing obstacles as they arise.

Nassar, who holds a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and genetics from the University of Surrey and a master’s degree in sport organizational management from the Catholic University of Leuven, recalled her time as a swimmer and Olympian, having appeared at both the 2004 and 2000 editions of the international event in Athens and Sydney respectively.

The JFA secretary general and former athlete also led Jordan’s mission to the 2012 London Olympic.

Commenting on JFA concerns about the absence of tournament sponsors, Nassar explained that the association needs promotional sponsors to provide clubs with the financial sources they need. “Manaseer was a JFA strategic partner and we thank them for that, but the priorities of the coming stage require us to attract sponsors and think of new, innovative products in order to assist clubs in securing their needs and keep the competition going, against the odds put forth by COVID 19,” Nassar elaborated. 

She revealed that the Kingdom’s first division national team is at the top of the JFA’s priorities. 

“We believe in our national team’s ability to press forward and wish it luck in qualifying to the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar. Our primary role is to provide all our teams’ needs under suitable circumstances so that they could give their all in external events.”

Nassar added: “We are working consistently with the technical team to ensure the national team’s readiness to succeed. We embody the vision of HRH Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein, head of FIFA’s executive committee, in serving our national teams and setting their priorities. The national team is our priority and we have that the media and audience have its back so that they continue giving their best.”

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