The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) has made two moves designed to improve its slim chances of playing host to the 1986 World Cup.
The USSF sent a telegram Monday night to the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA), the world governing body of soccer, asking for a list of specific ways to improve the U.S.'s cup proposal, and inviting a FIFA panel to inspect this country's facilities between April 19 and 26.
The USSF also enlisted the aid of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the chairman of the board of the North American Soccer League, who will appear before a congressional subcommitee Thursday on the U.S. bid to host the cup.
"We need to bring in people with national and international stature," said Werner Fricker, chairman of the U.S. World Cup organizing committee. "We need to bring in political leaders, corporate leaders . . . we need to show FIFA that we have the experience, facilities and civic support required to stage a World Cup."
Fricker's telegram, along with a harsher version sent to FIFA last Friday, was in response to Thursday's decision by FIFA to dismiss the United States' bid to host the cup. Objecting to the traveling distances in the U.S., FIFA announced it would consider only Mexico's proposal.
FIFA, which also rejected Canada's cup bid, is expected to make a formal decision May 20 at its executive committee meeting in Stockholm.
Kissinger will testify before a subcommittee on Commerce, Tourism and Transportation chaired by Rep. James Florio (D-N.J.), along with NASL Executive Director Howard Samuels, USSF President Gene Edwards, Indiana University Coach Jerry Yeagley and former players Pele and Franz Beckenbauer.