NEW YORK (May 17, 2010) – President William Jefferson Clinton has accepted the invitation to join the USA Bid Committee in its efforts to bring the FIFA World Cup™ to the United States in 2018 or 2022 and was named today the Honorary Chairman of the USA Bid.
In his role, President Clinton will be involved in promoting the USA bid’s cause in the months leading to the final decision in December.
“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,” said Sunil Gulati, Chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer. “The work of his William J. Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative has played a crucial role in consolidating relief efforts and improving agency efficiency around some of the world’s worst natural disasters of the last decade. The goals and principles of his cause-based work mirrors those of FIFA and those outlined in the U.S. Bid to bring the World Cup back to the United States. We are honored by his commitment to our cause.”
President Clinton’s new role with the USA Bid Committee was announced today at a news conference at the FC Harlem soccer facility. The announcement took place on the field following a soccer clinic hosted by New York Red Bulls players Juan Pablo Angel, Chris Albright and Seth Stammler for students that use the facility.
Since leaving office, President Clinton has dedicated himself to philanthropy and continued public service through the William J. Clinton Foundation, which is focused on finding practical and measurable solutions to address pressing challenges at home and abroad. In addition to his Foundation work, President Clinton has helped lead recovery efforts for several global natural disasters including the 2007 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
“In my travels around the world – from the dirt fields of Lusaka, Zambia, to playgrounds in schools across America – I’ve seen the transformative power soccer has to bring people together and transform lives on and off the field,” President Clinton said. “I continue to be impressed with FIFA’s work to promote the game as an agent for positive social change, and I’m proud to represent the United States in our bid to bring the World Cup tournament back to American soil, allowing us to inspire action and cooperation on an even greater scale.”
President Clinton established the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in 2005 to turn ideas into action and help our world move beyond the current state of globalization to a more integrated global community of shared benefits, responsibilities, and values. By gathering world leaders from a variety of backgrounds, CGI creates a unique opportunity to channel the capacities of individuals and organizations to realize change. To fulfill the action-oriented mission of CGI, all members devise practical solutions to global issues through the development of specific and measurable Commitments to Action.
Since its inception, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 100 current and former heads of state, 14 Nobel Peace Prize winners, hundreds of leading global CEOs, major philanthropists and foundation heads, directors of the most effective non-governmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made nearly 1,700 commitments valued at $57 billion, which have already improved more than 200 million lives in 150 countries.
Elected President of the United States in 1992, and again in 1996, President Clinton’s core values of building community, creating opportunity, and demanding responsibility resulted in unprecedented progress for America, including moving the nation from record deficits to record surpluses; the creation of over 22 million jobs; low levels of unemployment, poverty and crime; and the highest homeownership and college enrollment rates in history.
President Clinton previously served as the Governor of Arkansas, chairman of the National Governors’ Association and Attorney General of Arkansas. As former chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, he is one of the original architects and leading advocates of the Third Way movement.
The announcement regarding President Clinton comes just days after the United States and each competing bid submitted its official bid book to FIFA in a formal ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland on May 14, 2010. All candidates had to have their bid applications submitted to FIFA by that day. FIFA’s 24 member Executive Committee will study the bids, conduct site visits and name the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments on December 2, 2010, completing a 21-month bid and review process.
The United States, Australia, England and Russia have formally declared their desire to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain have each submitted joint bids for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, while Japan, Qatar and South Korea have only applied as candidates to host the tournament in 2022. Indonesia withdrew its bid in March 2010, while Mexico withdrew its bid in September 2009. Following the Mexico announcement, CONCACAF issued a public endorsement for the United States bid in November that pledged the full support of soccer’s governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean.
President Clinton will serve as Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors of the USA Bid Committee that features Wasserman Media Group Chairman and CEO Casey Wasserman, Counselor to President Clinton Douglas Band, AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke, former world champion boxer Oscar De La Hoya, Academy Award-nominated director Spike Lee, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, ESPN EVP for Content John Skipper, Washington Post CEO and Publisher Katharine Weymouth, Walt Disney Company President and CEO Robert Iger, comedian and Seattle Sounders FC part-owner Drew Carey, MLS founding investor Philip Anschutz, Univision CEO Joe Uva, New England Revolution and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, U.S. Soccer Foundation President Ed Foster-Simeon, University of Miami President Donna Shalala, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, U.S. National Team icons Landon Donovan and Mia Hamm, and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger.
In October 2009, the USA Bid Committee released an independent study that estimates a conservative domestic economic impact of five billion dollars if the United States is chosen to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. The findings indicate that the total economic impact projected for any one host city ranges from approximately $400 million to $600 million at today’s dollar value.
ABOUT U.S. SOCCER:
Founded in 1913, U.S. Soccer has helped chart the course for soccer in the USA for more than 95 years as the governing body of the sport. In this time, the Federation’s mission statement has been simple and clear: to make soccer, in all its forms, a pre-eminent sport in the United States and to continue the development of soccer at all recreational and competitive levels. To that end, the sport’s growth in the past two decades has been nothing short of remarkable as U.S. Soccer’s National Teams have continually succeeded on the world stage while also growing the game here in the United States with the support of its members. For more information, visit ussoccer.com.
ABOUT THE USA BID COMMITTEE INC.:
The USA Bid Committee is a non-profit organization created to prepare a successful application to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022 on behalf of the United States Soccer Federation. The USA Bid Committee Executive Director is David Downs. The Bid Committee will submit its comprehensive bid to FIFA by May 2010, with FIFA’s 24 member Executive Committee making a decision in December 2010. Members of the USA Bid Committee in alphabetical order include Houston Dynamo and Los Angeles Galaxy owner Philip Anschutz, Counselor to President Clinton Douglas Band, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, comedian and Seattle Sounders FC part-owner Drew Carey, former Goldman Sachs Vice Chairman (Asia) Carlos Cordeiro, former world champion boxer Oscar De La Hoya, U.S. Men’s National Team player Landon Donovan, U.S. Soccer CEO and General Secretary Dan Flynn, U.S. Soccer Foundation President Ed Foster-Simeon, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, U.S. Soccer President and USA Bid Committee Chairman Sunil Gulati, U.S. Women’s National Team former player Mia Hamm, Walt Disney Company President and CEO Robert Iger, former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, New England Revolution and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Academy Award-nominated director Spike Lee, AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, University of Miami President Donna Shalala, ESPN Executive Vice President for Content John Skipper, Univision CEO Joe Uva, Wasserman Media Group Chairman and CEO Casey Wasserman, and Washington Post CEO and Publisher Katharine Weymouth. For more information, visit goUSAbid.com.