Zurich [Switzerland], Nov 13 : Arsene Wenger has been appointed as FIFA’s new chief of global football development on Wednesday.
The French manager was welcomed by FIFA President Gianni Infantino to the world football governing body’s headquarters here in Zurich.
Wenger will be chiefly responsible for overseeing and driving the growth and development of the sport for both men and women around the world.
He will also be the leading authority on technical matters, both as a member of the football and technical advisory panels involved in the International Football Association Board’s (IFAB) review and decision-making process on potential changes to the Laws of the Game, and as chairman of the FIFA Technical Study Group, which has conducted the technical analysis of FIFA tournaments since 1966.
Leaning on a highly distinguished coaching career, Wenger’s role will include a particular focus on coach education, while he will also offer invaluable contributions to an executive programme – currently in its inception phase – tailored to encourage former professional players to enter management and which will support them through the post-career transition and bridge the gap between managerial and technical positions in football.
Known as Le Professeur for his meticulously studious approach to the game, Wenger has spent his whole career in football. After hanging his boots, Wenger found his true calling in football management, his career taking him from his native France, where he enjoyed a successful stint with AS Monaco, to cup success with Nagoya Grampus Eight in Japan, and to England, where with Arsenal he went on to become one of the longest-serving and most eminent coaches in English top-flight history, winning the Premier League three times. Away from the pitch, he is a highly respected TV match analyst.
“I very much look forward to taking on this extremely important challenge, not only because I have always been interested in analysing football from a broader perspective but also because FIFA’s mission as world football’s governing body is truly global,” Wenger said in an official statement.
“I believe that the new FIFA we have seen emerging in recent years has the sport itself at the very heart of its objectives and is determined to develop the game in its many different components. I know I can contribute to this objective and will put all my energy into this,” he added.
On the new appointment, President Infantino said: “Arsene Wenger’s profound knowledge and passion for the different aspects of our game sets him apart as one of the most respected personalities in football. I am delighted to welcome him to the team.”
“Since I arrived at FIFA, we have placed football at the centre of our mission, striving to learn from those who know the sport inside out: Arsene is someone who, with his strategic vision, competence and hard work, has dedicated his life to football. His arrival is just another example of how we keep strengthening our purpose to bring FIFA back to football and football back to FIFA,” he added.