Looks like US Soccer is putting together a pretty star studded cast to bring the 2018 World Cup stateside. Barack Obama's election was hailed by US Soccer chief Sunil Gulati as a positive development in persuading FIFA to award the World Cup. Obama has been sighted attending his daughter's soccer games and is said to be a Hammers fan.
Now they have Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State under Richard Nixon joining their bid. Kissinger is a lifelong soccer fan and was instrumental in the US successfully hosting the 1994 World Cup. He is a favourite of Sepp Blatter who awarded the diplomat with the Order of Merit for his services to the sport.
Kissinger is a controversial figure in political history, particularly from a South American standpoint. Many recent investigations and lawsuits have opened up in a number of countries like Chile, Argentina, and Brazil questioning his involvement in Operation Condor, a covert military intelligence operation carried out in the Southern Cone countries (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Chile) in the 1970s where left wing opponents of regimes like that of Auguste Pinochet, Juan Rafael Videla, and Alfredo Stroessner were targeted in a wave of kidnappings and extrajudicial murders.
These investigations and lawsuits have come up as evidence pieced together show US complicity. Kissinger himself has been sued by the family of an Argentinian general who was murdered for his refusal to oust Salvador Allende, President of Chile. It is an ongoing lawsuit and there are other active investigations against Kissinger including an arrest warrant by the Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon, the same man responsible for issuing the arrest of Auguste Pinochet.
These developments are very recent and come much after Kissinger's successful lobbying of the 1994 World Cup. Many of these South American countries have begun to piece together their versions of a truth and reconciliation process which sheds light on a dark era in their history. Kissinger is a central figure as recent declassified information reveal. These issues could become very relevant as the Southern Cone countries are a very powerful voting force within FIFA and Kissinger's appointment may become a potential stumbling block in the US World Cup bid.