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Kissinger Joins U.S. World Cup Bid

  • AP, Monday, March 30, 2009 4 PM
The U.S. World Cup bids for 2018 and 2022 got a big boost of political power today as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger joined the organizing committee's board, hopefully bringing with him the same "Kissinger Bump" that he did as committee chairman in 1988 to help the U.S. earn the right to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

"I don't think we have a huge chance in 2018. I think it will probably go to Europe," said the 85-year-old Kissinger on Monday, wasting no time in managing expectations regarding FIFA's decision in December 2010. But reminding of the benefits of past failed bids (for the 1986 World Cup, which he was a part of before Mexico got the nod), he used the logic that "just as '86 guaranteed that we got it in '94, so I think bidding for 2018 will give us a great chance for 2022."

A receipt of FIFA's Order of Merit in 1996, Kissinger also expressed optimism in the ability to work with the current administration to advance the U.S. bid, saying "We know that Obama is very interested in sports. I think as we go along we should be able to get a hearing at the White House, get him to say something favorable" about the U.S. hosting the world's biggest sporting event again.

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