(Soccer America provides ongoing coverage of the 2018/2022 World Cup bid process.) By Paul Kennedy
in Chief America's most famous soccer fan USA.
before American soccer had celebrity fans like Drew Carey
, Spike Lee
, there was Dr. Henry Kissinger
. Long before it was fashionable to follow soccer, Kissinger was America's most famous soccer fan. His appointment
to the USA Bid Committee marks the third time in the last quarter century he has been involved in a U.S. effort.
Kissinger served as chairman of
the bid committee for U.S. Soccer's s unsuccessful bid for the 1986 World Cup and of 16-member advisory panel that oversaw the bid 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.
In the late 1970s, Kissinger, who has been
credited with helping bring Pele to the NASL in 1975, was as much a celebrity as political figure and a close friend of the late Ertegun brothers, Ahmet
, music moguls and soccer fanatics themselves.
Kissinger developed a life-long love of soccer during his childhood in Fuerth in his native
of his father's despair of his son who "preferred to stand for two hours (there were very few seats) watching a soccer
game rather than sit in the comfort at the opera or be protected from the elements in a museum."
Kissinger later became a big baseball -- and New York Yankees -- fan after fleeing
Germany for London and then New York in 1938, but he has always held a great fascination for soccer.
While watching on television the France-Switzerland game at the 2006 World Cup, he
of how "soccer is more of an unrelenting drama, with no
timeouts, commercials or water breaks, and limited opportunity for substitutions. When it comes to soccer, savoring its ebbs and flows of frustration, elation and ultimately exhaustion, soccer gets
me at a relatively high pitch of attention." USA Bid Committee Members: Sunil Gulati
President, U.S. Soccer Carlos Cordeiro Dan Flynn
, CEO, U.S. Soccer Don Garber
, Commissioner, MLS Phil Murphy Henry Kissinger
U.S. committee hires P.R. firm Fleishman-Hillard USA.
Communications has been hired by the USA Bid Committee to oversee its public relations and communications programs in its efforts to secure the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.
Fleishman-Hillard, headquartered in St. Louis with 31 offices in the United States and 80 worldwide, has a long history of involvement in soccer.
"Representing the USA Bid
Committee, U.S. Soccer and our national effort to bring the world's greatest sporting event to the United States is both a great privilege and a high responsibility for Fleishman-Hillard," said
, president and CEO of Fleishman-Hillard. "We share the absolute commitment of the U.S. Soccer family and the Bid Committee to return the FIFA World
Cup tournament to the United States. We look forward to getting down to work." Blatter limits lobbying efforts in 2009 POLITICS FIX.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter
wants to limit lobbying efforts this year by countries bidding to host the World Cup
in 2018 and 2022.
"There shall be no exhibitions of the candidature until the [2010 FIFA] Congress in South Africa," Blatter said.
The move is an effort to limit
lobbying during the busy 2009 international calendar, which includes the FIFA Congress May 31-June 3 in the Bahamas, the Confederations Cup in South Africa and world youth championships in Egypt
and Nigeria later in the year.
Each of the 11 bidders can have three accredited people attend these events. WHAT THEY'RE
"A World Cup in Qatar in 2022 would be the first global sports event to be hosted in the region. What could be more fitting than it being the world's favorite
game that achieves this truly historic status?"
-- Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
, the son of the Qatari emir and chairman of the
Qatari World Cup 2018/2022 bid committee. The green factor INDONESIA.
Perhaps no country is
a longer shot to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cups than Indonesia. At 137, it is the lowest-ranked team in the current FIFA/Coca Cola World Ranking. Its only participation in the World Cup came in
1938 when it was the Dutch East Indies.
Indonesia hopes to sell its World Cup as a "Green World Cup 2022."
"Our deforestation rate has contributed much to world
pollution," said Soccer Association of Indonesia (PSSI) chairman Nurdin Halid
said. "By hosting the World Cup, we wish to build infrastructure and facilities
that are environmentally friendly so we can give more to the planet."
Indonesia's plans include the construction of 10 new stadiums by 2015 in Surabaya, Makassar, Medan, Tangerang,
Yogyakarta and Gianyar to complement its three existing stadiums, Gelora Bung Karno in Jakarta, Gelora Sriwijaya in Palembang and Palaran in Samarinda.
In 2007, Nurdin was convicted
of corruption in connection with the Indonesian government's distribution of cooking oil and sentenced to two years in jail. He refused to step down as PSSI chairman and was granted parole (along
with 240 others found guilty of corruption) by Indonesia's Justice Ministry in a controversial decision in 2008. FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking
1 Spain-10 Portugal
3 Netherlands-49 Belgium
44 South Korea