Just last year, nine members of FIFA’s 24-member panel were suspended, or faced accusations of wrongdoing. The majority of improprieties sprang up during the bidding to host the World Cup, an event that brings in more than four billion dollars a year to FIFA.
The German-born, former National Security Advisor, and Secretary of State under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford describes himself as an “avid football fan”. He has been a life-long supporter of the Spielvereinigung Fürth football club in Germany. Dr. Kissinger said, “If it can help the sport, I would be willing to participate.” “But I have to know who the other participants are, and what the terms of reference are before I make a final commitment.” “He 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 investigate problems and suggest solutions to FIFA as they try to recover from scandals and corruption.
Dr. Kissinger appears to be a good candidate. He worked to reform the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after a bribery scandal surrounding Salt Lake City’s bid for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Several officials were expelled, and the IOC was forced to strengthen its ethics code after the effort.
“At that time, it succeeded,” Kissinger said of the IOC effort. “It took about two years, but some results were achieved much quicker.”