By Muambo Edward
Football Writer, Cameroon
70-year-old Frenchman Arsene Charles Ernest Wenger has been unveiled today as FIFA’s new Chief of Global Football Development.
The former Mulhouse and Strasbourg midfielder was warmly received by FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich today.
“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,”Infantino said after his appointment.
“I am delighted to welcome him in the team. Since I arrived FIFA we have placed football at the center of our mission, striving to learn from those who know the sport inside out: Arsène 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.”
The three times Premier League winner with Arsenal and French League winner with Monaco, will be charged with masterminding and enduring 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 for the male and female games.
FIFA revealed that Wenger’s role will see him become a member of the football and technical advisory panels involved in the regular reviews of the International Football Association Board (IFAB), which sets out potential changes to the laws of the game.
The Frenchman will take up chairmanship of the FIFA’s Technical Study Group, which has conducted the technical analysis of FIFA tournaments since 1966.
FIFA could not have made a better choice as Wenger is reputed in nurturing and developing young talents.
He expressed his delight in the new role.
“I very much look forward to taking to taking on this very important challenge, 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,” Wenger said in a 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 in all my energy to this.”
The Frenchman has been a television pundit since leaving Arsenal were he spent 22 illustrious years last year.
He has also been linked to a number of high profiled coaching jobs, notably that of Bayern Munich.
It’s not clear whether his current role with FIFA will permit him to take up a managerial role with any club.
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