Arsene Wenger has been appointed as FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, putting an end to speculation about the Frenchman’s next role having stepped away from football for over a year.
The 70-year-old has been out of work since leaving his position in charge of Arsenal, where he managed for 22 years, winning three Premier League titles and seven FA Cup crowns during his spell in North London.
Wenger was heavily linked with the vacant Bayern Munich role, after the Bundesliga club opted to sack Niko Kovac, with the former Monaco boss rumoured to have turned down the club’s approach – despite Wenger insisting he was never a candidate.
His new role will see him become responsible for ‘overseeing and driving the growth and development of the sport for both men and women around the world’. Taking charge of all FIFA’s football development activities throughout the world for the men’s and women’s game, Wenger will be watching over its coaching, training and coach education programmes.
A particular focus of the Frenchman’s role will focus on coach education, one of the many elements Wenger insisted he is looking forward to overseeing after taking the role.
“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,” he said, on FIFA’s official website.
“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.”
His thoughts were echoed by FIFA’s president Gianni Infantino, who claimed that Wenger’s experience was key to awarding him with the position.
He 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.”
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