(For more on the 2018/2022 bid process, read World Cup Watch.)
Kissinger, who developed a life-long love of soccer during his childhood in Fuerth in his native Germany, served as chairman of the bid committee for U.S. Soccer's unsuccessful attempt to host the 1986 World Cup and of 16-member advisory panel that oversaw the process during U.S. Soccer's successful bid for the 1994 World Cup. In 1977, shortly after departing as Secretary of State, he was named chairman of the North American Soccer League's Board of Governors.
"We are very pleased to have Dr. Kissinger join us in our endeavor to bring back the World Cup to the United States," said Sunil Gulati, president of U.S. Soccer and chairman of the USA Bid Committee. "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."
Dr. Kissinger, now 85, served as Secretary of State from 1973-77 and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973. He later founded Kissinger Associates, a well-known international consulting firm and holds the title of chairman of the company. In 1996, FIFA honored Dr. Kissinger with the Order of Merit for his service to the sport across the world.
"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."
USA Bid Committee Members:
Sunil Gulati (chairman), President, U.S. Soccer
Dan Flynn, CEO, U.S. Soccer
Don Garber, Commissioner, MLS