Kissinger close to accepting FIFA post

The former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger confirmed Sunday he was close to accepting FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s invitation to help reform soccer’s troubled governing body.

Kissinger, 88, was proposed as someone who could lead a new "solution committee" within the organization and said he was sounding out the position after speaking to Blatter.

Blatter, who was re-elected unopposed as president earlier this week, said he wanted to improve accountability and regain credibility within the governing body, which has been beset with allegations of corruption.

And the 75-year-old Swiss was targeting the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize winner, who was involved in the reform of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), to be part of those plans.

"(Blatter’s) not been specific, except to say he wants to create a group of wise men to deal with issues which may arise," Kissinger told the BBC. "If it can help I’d be willing to participate, but we need to know other participants and terms of reference."

As well as his participation in the reform of the IOC, Kissinger also helped the United States win the rights to host the 1994 World Cup and Blatter wanted him to join Dutch soccer legend Johan Cruyff in aiding the corruption problems.

"This will be a commission of the wise. Kissinger loves (soccer), he’ll be part of it," Blatter said. "And (Johan) Cruyff, he’s the perfect personality to help us in this solution commission."

The announcement came after Asian Football Confederation president Mohamed Bin Hammam and FIFA vice president Jack Warner were both suspended before the presidential election on bribery allegations.

Bin Hammam was set to oppose the president, but his withdrawal after his suspension resulted in a one-horse race.