Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
Sunil Gulati is ready to hit the ground running once he starts his position as a member of the 25-person FIFA Executive Committee this May.
Speaking to reporters in a conference call on Monday, the U.S. Soccer president commented on everything from transparency in FIFA to a potential World Cup in the United States.
“We’ve (U.S. Soccer) made it clear in the past that we think hosting a World Cup in the United States would be a positive,” Gulati said. “[CONCACAF President] Jeff Webb, in his presidential comments at the congress on Friday, made it very clear that one of his top priorities and requests of Mr. Blatter and FIFA is that the 2026 World Cup come to CONCACAF.”
Gulati also confirmed that he’d be pushing for a guaranteed fourth spot for CONCACAF in upcoming World Cups, though he said that much of the possibility of that will come down to how the region’s teams play in Brazil.
“Is there a push for that? The answer is yes. We’ve made that very clear,” Gulati said. “If our teams are successful [in Brazil], that increases the likelihood of that happening.”
One interesting development is that Gulati is in favor of fully disclosing to the public what he receives from FIFA as compensation for being on the executive committee. Since all the committee members receive the same amount of money, it would shed some light into the thick fog that covers FIFA’s finances.
“The answer would be yes, with a caveat,” Gulati said. “If I’m bound by a confidentiality agreement with FIFA, that would then be difficult, but I don’t know that I’m going to be.
“I don’t know what the rules of the road are there, but in the absence of that, it’s my belief that FIFA should, in fact, disclose the compensation of directors. I would have no problem of disclosing if it’s not a violation of any provision with FIFA for directors.”
Though he had no comment to make on the resignation of Alexandra Wrage from the International Governance Committee, an organization set up by FIFA to help reform the organization, Gulati agreed that there was plenty of more work to be done.
“I think at the highest level there is a sincere effort to try to reform and change the organization,” Gulati said. “I think some of the things that happen show that clearly there needs to be a lot more done. Hopefully some of that will happen in May and hopefully a lot more will happen beyond that.”