U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati has been elected to the FIFA Executive Committee during the congress of the North and Central American and Caribbean Football (CONCACAF) in Panama City on Friday.
Gulati replaces former CONCACAF General Secretary Chuck Blazer on a four-year term in the FIFA Executive Committee. He was able to defeat Mexican Football Federation President Justino Compean by a close 18-17 vote in the election.
“I am honored to have been chosen by my colleagues to be one of their representatives on the FIFA Executive Committee,” said Gulati in a statement published on the U.S. Soccer website. “The game is growing tremendously in our region both on and off the field, and I hope to do my part to continue to expand the development of the game for both CONCACAF and FIFA.”
The 53-year-old Indian origin official is one of the most powerful man in world football. Gulati was born in Allahabad in 1959 and he moved to Connecticut with his family when he was five years old. He is distinguished as the mastermind behind the rise of the Major League Soccer (MLS) and football in general in the United States with more than 30 years of experience at all levels.
Gulati has communicated on numerous times in the past decade that he and the U.S. Soccer Federation would be willing to help Indian football, if the All India Football Federation (AIFF) would seek his help.
I have been following Sunil Gulati’s progress in the US for many years and I think Indian football should make use of the expertise of Sunil and other Indian orgin football officials like e.g. Robin Dutt (Director of Sport, German Federation – DFB) to take the game in India forward. There are many high-profile Indian origin officials working around the football business and many of them are eager to help Indian football, if their help is wanted.