While FIFA, the global body for football, is mired in controversy, India may have a reason to smile as an Indian-American by the name of Sunil Gulati is one of the top contenders for the now-vacant post of President.
Sepp Blatter, who headed the body for close to fourteen years, resigned on Wednesday amidst the bribery and corruption scandal that has engulfed FIFA.
According to a report in The Times of India, Gulati, currently the President of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) is among the favourites take over the job. The two other contenders being mentioned are former Manchester United CEO David Gill and head of the European football body (UEFA) Michel Platini.
Reports indicate that Gulati’s appointment could boost the profile of the sport in the US and Asia. Gulati was born in Allahabad but currently resides in Connecticut and is a Columbia University academic.
The 55 year old has been known to have voted against Blatter in his Presidential vote and while he didn’t comment on his candidature, he did make a statement on Blatter’s resignation. It “represents an exceptional and immediate opportunity for positive change within Fifa”, he said and commended Blatter for “making a decision that puts Fifa and the sport we love above all other interests.”
Gulati has himself been elected the President of the USSF three times in a row.