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November 14, 2019

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Wenger lands crucial job at FIFA

FIFA has hired Arsene Wenger in a full-time role leading its global work developing soccer.

The former Arsenal manager accepted FIFA’s offer yesterday more than two months after it was first reported, and one week after talks with Bayern Munich about the German champion’s vacant head coach job.

Last Saturday Wenger denied claims by Bayern that it had turned down his offer to take over at the Bundesliga club after the sacking of Niko Kovac.

FIFA said Wenger’s title will be chief of global football development. He will oversee the rules-making panel known as IFAB or International Football Association Board, coaching programs and technical analysis of games at FIFA tournaments.

Wenger will also help FIFA create an executive program “tailored to encourage former professional players to enter management,” soccer’s world body said in a statement.

FIFA said the former Monaco coach would be responsible for the growth of the game “for both men and women around the world,” and would also be the “leading authority on technical matters.”

“I know I can contribute to this objective,” Wenger said, citing FIFA’s aim to develop the game globally, “and will put all my energy into this.”

“I very much look forward to taking on this extremely important challenge,” he said in the statement.

“Not only because I have always been interested in analyzing football from a broader perspective but also because FIFA’s mission as world football’s governing body is truly global.”

The 70-year-old Frenchman effectively replaces Marco van Basten, who was FIFA technical director until October 2018.

Wenger has worked as an analyst for broadcasters, including Qatar-based beIN Sport, since leaving Arsenal last year after 22 seasons during which he redefined the English Premier League club and became the London team’s most successful manager.

He led Arsenal to three EPL titles — including in 2003-04 when his ‘Invincibles’ team went unbeaten for an entire season — as well as seven FA Cup trophies, and was a beaten finalist in the 2006 UEFA Champions League and 2000 UEFA Cup.

“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,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said.




 

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