Sunil Gulati

Last updated

Sunil Gulati
Sunil Gulati.jpg
Gulati in 2006
President of the United States Soccer Federation
In office
March 11, 2006 February 10, 2018
Preceded by Robert Contiguglia
Succeeded by Carlos Cordeiro
Vice President of FIFA
In office
Personal details
Born (1959-07-30) July 30, 1959 (age 60)
Allahabad, India
Alma mater Bucknell University
Columbia University

Sunil Gulati ( /ˈsnlɡˈlɑːti/ SOO-neel goo-LAH-tee;[ citation needed ] born July 30, 1959) is the former President of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) from 2006 to 2018. In April 19, 2013, he was elected to a four-year term on the FIFA Council. [1] [2] In March 2014, he was unanimously re-elected to a record third four-year term as USSF president; having been elected initially in 2006 and re-elected again in 2010. Gulati is also a senior lecturer in the economics department of Columbia University. [3] He is the former president of Kraft Soccer for the New England Revolution in Major League Soccer.

United States Soccer Federation official governing body of soccer in the United States

The United States Soccer Federation (USSF), commonly referred to as U.S. Soccer, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the official governing body of the sport of soccer in the United States. With headquarters in Chicago, the FIFA member governs U.S. amateur and professional soccer, including the men's, women's, youth, beach soccer, futsal, and Paralympic national teams. U.S. Soccer sanctions referees and soccer tournaments for most soccer leagues in the United States. The U.S. Soccer Federation also administers and operates the U.S. Open Cup, which was first held in 1914.


On December 4, 2017, Gulati announced that he will not seek a fourth term as President of the US Soccer Federation. [4] On February 10, 2018, he was succeeded by his vice-president Carlos Cordeiro. [5]

Carlos Cordeiro is an American soccer administrator who is currently the president of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). On February 10, 2018, Cordeiro won the first contested election for the USSF presidency since 1998.

Early life and education

Gulati was born in Allahabad, India. His family moved to Connecticut when he was five years old, and he grew up playing soccer. [6] Gulati is an alumnus of Cheshire High School in Cheshire, Connecticut. He graduated magna cum laude from Bucknell University and earned his M.A. and M.Phil. in economics at Columbia University. In 1991, he joined the World Bank through its Young Professionals Program and served as country economist for Moldova.

Allahabad Metropolis in Uttar Pradesh, India

Allahabad, officially known as Prayagraj, and also known as Illahabad and Prayag, is a city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is the administrative headquarters of Allahabad district—the most populous district in the state and 13th most populous district in India—and the Allahabad division.

Connecticut U.S. state in the United States

Connecticut is the southernmost state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. As of the 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, Human Development Index (0.962), and median household income in the United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, New York to the west, and Long Island Sound to the south. Its capital is Hartford and its most populous city is Bridgeport. It is part of New England, although portions of it are often grouped with New York and New Jersey as the tri-state area. The state is named for the Connecticut River which approximately bisects the state. The word "Connecticut" is derived from various anglicized spellings of an Algonquian word for "long tidal river".

Cheshire High School Public school in Cheshire, Connecticut, United States

Cheshire High School is a comprehensive public high school serving approximately 1,538 students; it is the sole comprehensive high school of Cheshire Public Schools.

Soccer development service

Gulati has a longstanding involvement in the administration of the United States Soccer Federation, with former USSF president and Major League Soccer founder Alan Rothenberg calling Gulati "the single most important person in the development of soccer in this country". [7] Gulati first became involved with the USSF through his employment as a youth coach and administrator in local Connecticut leagues while attending college. [8] Gulati became a prominent volunteer federation staffer and adviser in the 1980s during the presidency of Werner Fricker, and began working in the game full-time upon taking the job of deputy commissioner of Major League Soccer when the league was formed following the 1994 FIFA World Cup hosted by the U.S., which Gulati played a major role in organizing.

Alan I. Rothenberg is an American lawyer and sports executive. He is known for his contributions to and influence on the growth of soccer in the United States. He is the namesake of the Alan I. Rothenberg Trophy, which was awarded annually to the winner of the MLS Cup from 1996 to 1999. Rothenberg was president of U.S. Soccer, the governing body of American soccer, during the 1990s and oversaw the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States and the establishment of Major League Soccer in 1996.

Werner Fricker American soccer player

Werner Fricker (born January 24, 1936 in Karlsdorf, Yugoslavia; was a German-American soccer halfback who later became president of the United States Soccer Federation. He is a member of both the National Soccer Hall of Fame and the USASA Hall of Fame.

Major League Soccer Professional soccer league in the United States and Canada

Major League Soccer (MLS) is a men's professional soccer league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation which represents the sport's highest level in the United States. The league comprises 24 teams—21 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada and constitutes one of the major professional sports leagues in both countries. The regular season runs from March to October, with each team playing 34 games; the team with the best record is awarded the Supporters' Shield. Fourteen teams compete in the postseason MLS Cup Playoffs through October and November, culminating in the championship game, the MLS Cup. MLS teams also play in domestic competitions against teams from other divisions in the U.S. Open Cup and in the Canadian Championship. MLS teams also compete against continental rivals in the CONCACAF Champions League. The league plans to expand to 28 teams with the additions of Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC in 2020, Austin FC in 2021, and a St. Louis franchise in 2022, with further plans to expand to 30 teams at a later date.

Gulati was elected USSF President in March 2006, [9] [6] succeeding Robert Contiguglia; Gulati had served as federation vice president for six years and played a key role in major USSF board decisions for many years prior to his election as president. In February 2010, he was re-elected for another four-year term as USSF president. [10]

Robert Contiguglia American soccer executive

S. Robert "Bob" Contiguglia served as President of the United States Soccer Federation from 1998 to 2006. Among his achievements as President of U.S. Soccer were: successfully hosting the 1999 Women's World Cup, convincing FIFA to relocate the 2003 Women's World Cup to the United States after the original plans to host it in China fell through, the U.S. women's team winning gold at the 2004 Summer Olympics, and hiring Bruce Arena as coach for the United States men's national team. In May 2018, Contiguglia was selected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

In February 2009, Gulati announced that the USSF would bid for the right to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022. He chaired the World Cup U.S. Bid Committee Board of Directors [11] and visited 20 of the 22 member voters on the FIFA Executive Committee. [12] The United States, however, was not selected to host either World Cup. In 2011, he was recognized and awarded the 2011 Trailblazer Award from the Association of South Asians in Media, Marketing and Entertainment (SAMMA) for his outstanding contributions to the world of U.S. sports.

FIFA World Cup Association football competition for mens national teams

The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The current champion is France, which won its second title at the 2018 tournament in Russia.

In 2012, Sunil Gulati spearheaded the formation of a new professional women's soccer league in the United States. [13] The previous two attempts to form a women's league by the Women's United Soccer Association and Women's Professional Soccer folded in three years. On October 21, 2012, the USSF, the Canadian Soccer Association, and the Mexican Football Federation made a joint announcement on the creation of a new women's soccer league with clubs playing in Boston, Chicago, Kansas City, New Jersey, western New York, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., Gulati advocated a "sustainable economic model", with the new league having a unique feature of the three federations paying the salaries of their national team players who play in this league. [14] [15] [16]

In 2018, after the US failed to qualify for the World Cup, Gulati chose not to run for re-election as president, and was succeeded by Carlos Cordeiro. Gulati remains the chairman of the USSF's joint bid with Mexico and Canada to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Career in academia

Because the United States Soccer Federation has a full-time professional staff handling the federation's day-to-day business, Gulati is able to maintain a parallel, full-time career in academia. Sunil Gulati is a senior lecturer in economics at Columbia University, having also previously served on the Columbia economics faculty from 1986 to 1990. At Columbia, Gulati teaches principles of economics, global economics, and sports economics. The sports economics class is often heavily over-subscribed, with students known to camp out overnight to secure a place. [7]

FIFA Executive Committee

Gulati was elected to the FIFA Executive Committee on April 19, 2013 following a narrow 18-17 vote over Mexican Federation of Association Football President Justino Compeán at the CONCACAF Congress in Panama City, Panama. [17] [18] Of the four executive committee meetings in 2013, Gulati attended three of them. [19] The fourth meeting was held before Gulati's election. [20] [21] [22] [23] Gulati was one of several executive committee members to call for the publication of the Garcia Report into allegations of corruption surrounding Russia and Qatar's bids for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups. [24]

Personal life

Gulati lives in the New York City area with his wife and two children. [7]

See also

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  1. "US Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati elected to FIFA executive committee". The Washington Post. August 21, 2012.
  2. "Promotion and relegation in the USA? Sunil Gulati on why it's not in place". Sports Illustrated. 8 February 2017.
  3. "COLUMBIA, ECONOMICS : Sunil Gulati: Senior Lecturer (profile page)". Columbia University.
  5. "CARLOS CORDEIRO ELECTED AS 32ND U.S. SOCCER PRESIDENT". US Soccer Federation. February 10, 2018. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
  6. 1 2 Joshua Rohinson) (April 14, 2006). "Economics Professor Seeks U.S. Soccer Model". The New York Times.
  7. 1 2 3 Whiteside, Kelly (May 1, 2006). "USSF president Gulati is professor of the pitch". USA Today.
  8. "Sunil Gulati's steady rise, with the biggest work yet to come". June 7, 2013.
  9. "Gulati is acclaimed new USSF president; board size is slashed". SoccerTimes. March 11, 2006.
  10. "Sunil Gulati Unanimously Re-elected as President of U.S. Soccer". U.S. Soccer. February 6, 2010. Archived from the original on March 2, 2014.
  11. "U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati And Other Board Members Discuss the USA's 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup Bid". U.S. Soccer. February 2, 2009. Archived from the original on August 24, 2012.
  12. Grant Wahl (December 2, 2010). "U.S. rests hopes on tireless Gulati". Sports Illustrated.
  13. Andrew Das (September 17, 2012). "Gulati Talks About New Women's Coach and New Women's League". New York Times.
  14. "U.S. Women's League Conference Call Quote Sheet". U. S. Soccer. Archived from the original on 2012-12-05.
  15. "USA announces new women's league".
  16. "Soccer-New women's soccer league launched in U.S." Yahoo! Sports.
  17. Evans, Simon. "U.S's Gulati elected to FIFA executive committee". Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  18. "US Soccer president Sunil Gulati elected to FIFA Executive Committee in CONCACAF vote". Major League Soccer. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  19. "Financial Report 2013" (PDF). FIFA. p. 55. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  20. "FIFA Executive Committee Meeting No. 26 Agenda" (PDF). FIFA. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  21. "FIFA Executive Committee Meeting No. 27 Agenda" (PDF). FIFA. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  22. "FIFA Executive Committee Meeting No. 28 Agenda" (PDF). FIFA. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  23. "FIFA Executive Committee Meeting No. 29 Agenda" (PDF). FIFA. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  24. "Fifa prosecutor Michael Garcia calls for World Cup report to be made public". The Guardian . September 24, 2014. Retrieved September 24, 2014.
Preceded by
Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia
President of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF)
Succeeded by
Carlos Cordeiro