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March 30, 2009
Kissinger on U.S. World Cup Committee

CHICAGO ---Former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, has accepted an invitation to join the USA Bid Committee and help drive the county’s bid for the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup.

“We are very pleased to have Dr. Kissinger join us in our endeavor to bring back the World Cup to the United States,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “He’s done a tremendous amount for the sport in this country and his enthusiasm and knowledge of soccer will surely help us to earn the right to once again host the biggest sporting event in the world.”

One of the most prominent political figures in U.S. history, Dr. Kissinger has been a longtime supporter of soccer and has contributed greatly to raising the visibility of the sport in the United States. He was a crucial figure in helping bring the 1994 FIFA World Cup to the United States, serving as chairman of a 16-member advisory panel. In 1996, FIFA honored Dr. Kissinger with the Order of Merit for his service to the sport across the world.

Kissinger’s ties to the sport in the United States date back to the days of the North American Soccer League. His diplomatic efforts with the government of Brazil helped ease the way for the Cosmos to sign Pele in 1975. He later served as Chairman of the league and was involved in the unsuccessful U.S. efforts to land the 1986 World Cup.

Dr. Kissinger served as the 56th Secretary of State from 1973-77. During that time he also held the position of Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, which he first assumed in 1969 until 1975. Since leaving government service, he founded Kissinger Associates, an international consulting firm, and holds the title of chairman of the company.

Throughout his career, Dr. Kissinger has received numerous prestigious awards for his diplomacy, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973. Dr. Kissinger also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the nation’s highest civilian award) in 1977 and the Medal of Liberty (given to 12 foreign-born American leaders in celebration of the centennial for the Statue of Liberty) in 1986.

"I am looking forward to being actively involved in the USA's bid for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups," said Kissinger. "The U.S. put on a fantastic World Cup in 1994 and we know if provided the opportunity to host the tournament again we will put together an event that will amaze soccer fans across the world."

Dr. Kissinger joins five other members on the USA Bid Committee: Gulati, who will serve as the Chair of the Bid Committee, Carlos Cordeiro, non-executive Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs (Asia), U.S. Soccer CEO Dan Flynn, MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Phil Murphy, the former National Finance Chair of the Democratic National Committee. The Executive Director of the Bid Committee is David Downs. Cordeiro, an independent director on U.S. Soccer’s Board of Directors, was appointed as a Committee member last month. Other members of the USA Bid Committee will be announced in the near future.

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