Soccer

FIFA hires Arsene Wenger for global soccer development position

AP

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

The former Arsenal manager accepted FIFA’s offer Wednesday 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.

FIFA said Wenger’s title will be chief of global football development. He will oversee the rules-making panel known as IFAB, 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.

“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.”

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.

He led Arsenal to three Premier League titles, seven F.A. Cup trophies, and was beaten finalist in the 2006 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,” said Gianni Infantino, the FIFA president.