By Keira Daley
2 June 2010
The Hollywood heart-throb Brad Pitt has today accepted an invitation from the US Soccer Federation to join the board of directors for the USA’s bid to stage the World Cup in 2018 or 2022. The full story is online at the USSS website and the move is sure to garner global headlines in the run-up to the 2010 tournament this summer in South Africa.
“Soccer is a truly global sport and the opportunity to join the effort to have the U.S. host the world’s greatest sporting event again is a great honor,” said Pitt. “Fifa has set a world standard for using sport as a tool for positive social change and I’m proud to be associated with a United States World Cup Bid that has so ardently adhered to the principles established by Fifa.”
Sunil Gulati, chairman of the USA bid committee said: “Brad’s exposure to global culture throughout his career, along with his connection to soccer through his family has given him a unique understanding of the unifying aspect of the game.
“His consistent philanthropic efforts exemplify the bid’s desire to utilize soccer as a tool of positive change. We welcome Brad to our board of directors. ”
Just as David Beckham gives England’s 2018/2022 bid a touch of stardust, so having Pitt aboard is sure to help the US campaign in terms of global visibility, and in trying to win the crucial votes of the 24 members of the Fifa executive committee who pick the destination of the tournaments.
The 24-man ExCo will vote on the matter in early December. It is expected that the 2018 event will go to a European nation – with England and Russia the perceived front-runners – and then the 2022 event will be open to a “rest of the world” field including the USA, Australia and Qatar.