New communications chief Fabrice Jouhaud (FIFA)

(WFI) FIFA has appointed Fabrice Jouhaud to replace Walter De Gregorio, who resigned last year shortly after making a joke on television at Sepp Blatter’s expense.

Jouhaud from France joins from sports TV channel L’Équipe 21. He starts at FIFA on August 15.

With the ongoing separate investigations into FIFA corruption by U.S. justice authorities and French prosecutors, there are more twists to come in the scandal that has left the federation reeling.

Disgraced former FIFA leaders Sepp Blatter and Jerome Valcke departed in recent months in financial and ethical scandals. But Jouhaud can expect to be busy in the months ahead handling the fallout from the FIFA crisis and president Gianni Infantino’s reform efforts to revive the federation’s shattered credibility.

FIFA said Jouhaud “will draw on his experience as both a sports journalist and a print and television sports media manager” in the role. He heads up FIFA’s communications division and will report directly to secretary general Fatma Samoura.

INSIDER is told there are no other changes in the communications department, with head of media relations Delia Fischer and Nicolas Maingot remaining in their senior comms roles.

FIFA confirmed that Jouhaud would be part of its management board.

De Gregorio quit as director of communications & public affairs at FIFA in June 2015 days after making a joke on Swiss television about the plight of world football’s governing body. He was forced to resign for the following joke: “The FIFA president, secretary general and communications director are in a car. Who’s driving? The police.”

Blatter’s appeal against his six-year FIFA ban for approving a “disloyal” $2m payment to Michel Platini is due to be heard at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne on August 25.

By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson

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