Kissinger pondering FIFA offer

2011-06-05 16:07

Londer - Former American statesman Henry Kissinger has yet to make a firm commitment to become an advisor to football's world governing body.

Newly re-elected FIFA President Sepp Blatter said on Wednesday that Kissinger, who was US secretary of state from 1973 to 1977, had agreed to join a "committee of wise persons" to help investigate problems within the organisation.

"If it can help the sport, I would be willing to participate," Kissinger told the BBC. "But I have to know who the other participants are and what the terms of reference are before I make a final commitment.

"He (Blatter) has invited me but he has not been specific except to say he wants to create a group of wise men to deal with some of the issues that have arisen."

The committee would have the power to investigate and suggest solutions to problems as FIFA recovers from a corruption scandal, which saw Asian Football Confederation President Mohamed bin Hammam and FIFA Vice President Jack Warner suspended following allegations of bribery.

Kissinger, who described himself as an "avid football fan," worked on the failed US bid to host the 2022 World Cup and was on a reform panel set up by the IOC following the scandal over Salt Lake City's winning bid to host the Winter Olympics in 2002.

"My general view is that FIFA should be conducted as transparently and as democratically as is necessary to win public support," Kissinger said.

Blatter was elected unopposed for a fourth term as president on June 1, despite attempts by England's Football Association to postpone the vote for several months to allow for the corruption scandals to be cleared up.

Of the 208 FIFA delegates, 172 rejected England's call.

FA chairman David Bernstein said on Sunday he had written to Blatter to assure him that England would not be pulling out of FIFA.

"(I) restated our desire and support for reform and that England wants to continue working with FIFA," Bernstein wrote in the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

"This is hugely important and the calls for us to remove ourselves completely are made without considering any impact this will have - no England teams, no European club football, foreign players moving or risking worldwide bans."


  • MadMatt_88 - 2011-06-05 17:08

    Great. The NWO taking over FIFA

  • Jimbo - 2011-06-05 18:05

    Kissinger is 88 and, with the best will in the world, is too old to sort out the problems. The first thing FIFA needs to do is to limit their president's term of office to a single 5years.

  • zule - 2011-06-06 04:12

    Jimbo...whether he is 88 or 250 years old...Henry Kissinger is the wisest of wise men and for FIFA to be tapping into his mind is a fantastic thing...however, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that Blatter himself is a MAJOR part of the problem...he should have done the right thing and stepped down...but...which megalomaniac has ever done that??

  • Mabhulwana - 2011-06-07 18:55

    I did not even know that Kissinger was still alive! As for Blatter wanting another Committee to investigate and solve the current problems, that is a joke. The problems are well known and documented: the first one is josef sepp bladder. He needs to remove himself. Is he suggesting to us that the Committee of about 24 people that comprise FIFA is not adequate to deal with the affairs of this organization? He might as well include Mr Nelson Mandela in that Committee of Wise Old Men. And by the way, there is a 116 year old man in KZN.

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