Bill Clinton Made Honorary Chairman Of USA Bid Committee For FIFA World Cup
By: Cesar Diaz
Harlem, NY (May 17, 2010) —In order to bolster the United States’ chances of hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022, the USA Bid Committee reached out to former President of the United States Bill Clinton.
At the FC Harlem soccer facility, following a soccer clinic hosted by the New York Red Bulls, President Bill Clinton announced to the media that he has accepted the USA Bid Committee’s request to join their efforts in bringing the FIFA World Cup to the United States in 2018 or 2022.
President Clinton made it clear that he’s ready to roll up his sleeves and do whatever U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati needs of him. “One of the things I learned from the Olympics is that this not a one-week process. We’re going to work hard at this for seven months and see if we can prevail,” said President Clinton.
Recognized for his humanitarian causes since leaving the office, President Clinton has traveled around the planet and has witnessed firsthand the powerful impact soccer has globally.
“I spend a lot of time in countries that are extremely poor, where kids have no playing fields and a lot of times never get to go to school,” said Clinton. “But they know about soccer everywhere…and they play.”
“We want the world to look more like the world of soccer,” Clinton said. “We want people to think more like these kids think when they play. We want people to relate to other people in other lands like they do on the soccer field. … They play by a set of rules, and we’re all better off for having tried. That’s what we need more of.”
Along with his presidency and humanitarian causes, Clinton is the only President to be in office while the World Cup was on American soil in 1994. He also pointed out that by hosting the World Cup, each of the 18 host cities has the potential to generate $400-600 million of economic stimulus.
“That will be very good for a lot of families that are still hurting and a lot of communities still digging out from under the current economic crisis,” Clinton said.
Also present and excited about President Clinton joining the USA Bid Committee were Congressman Charles Rangel, Pastor Calvin Butts, NYC Comptroller John Liu, MLS Commissioner Dan Garber, and President of U.S. Soccer Sunil Gulati, who said, “Few heads of state, if any, have played as important a role in positively affecting social change in their years after office as President Bill Clinton.”
Cesar Diaz is the Soccer Editor for Latino Sports. Please send Cesar your questions and comments to [email protected].