FIFA likely to have a President of Indian origin

The Global body for football, FIFA, was in the new headlines for not so good reasons, as Sepp Blatter, who headed the body for nearly fourteen years, resigned amidst bribery and corruption scandal. Blatter was re-elected only four days ago, before he resigned after a corruption scandal implicated some top FIFA officials, resulting in arrest of more than 10 top football officials both in the US and Zurich.

However, Indians across the globe, have a reason to smile, for Indian origin, Sunil Gulati, who is currently the President of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) is among the favourites take over the job. The two other contenders being mentioned are former Manchester United CEO David Gill and head of the European football body (UEFA) Michel Platini.


* Gulati is the president of the US Soccer Federation and is currently serving a record third term in the role.

* Allahabad-born Gulati, who is often referred to as ‘the most powerful man in American soccer’, is a senior lecturer at New York’s Columbia University and is one of Blatter’s most outspoken critics.

* He has a son, Emilio, and a daughter, Sofia, with his wife, Marcela. They live in New York City.

* He holds a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and an MA in Economics from Columbia University and has been instrumental in the development of US Soccer since the early 1980’s.

* Gulati put his and the US Soccer Federation’s support behind Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Al Hussein in the recently-held Fifa elections, which was eventually won by Blatter.

* At the highly successful 1994 FIFA World Cup in the US, Gulati served as executive vice-president and chief international officer.

* He was also on the original US World Cup bid committee from 1986 to 1988 that helped bring the event to the United States for the first time.

* Gulati currently represents US Soccer Federation on the CONCACAF National Team Competitions Committee and serves on the FIFA World Club Championship Committee, as well as the FIFA Task Force for Clubs

* He also served on the board of directors of the 1999 and 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup in the US and is currently a member of the board in the US Soccer Foundation and National Soccer Hall of Fame.

* The college professor served as US Soccer’s executive vice-president from 2000 to 2006 before stepping into his current role as president.

– Spadman