LONDON (AP) — English soccer leaders are drawing inspiration from former U.S. President John F. Kennedy's challenge to send a man to the moon as the country tries to end its World Cup title drought.
Martin Glenn, a former food company executive, started work this week as chief executive of the Football Association and has made winning the 2022 World Cup a "majority priority."
"The awkward thing about World Cups is that a lot of other teams want to win it as well but I really support that goal," Glenn said on the FA website. "When John F. Kennedy said (in 1961) he wanted to put a man on the moon by 1970, everyone thought he was bonkers. But he put NASA in place and gave them funding.
"There were no guarantees but everyone, including the janitor, knew that the aim was to get a man on the moon by 1970 and they did it by the end of the decade. Winning the World Cup in 2022 is not a pie-in-the-sky hope."
England's only World Cup success came on home soil in 1966. The country has also failed to win the hosting rights to the FIFA tournament since.
"The English FA isn't that popular around the world of international football," Glenn said. "Let's work at that, not for popularity's sake but that our regard would grow because people would see the immense change that we are wielding to make sure the FA is a progressive organization, and the immense changes that we can make in English football."