Will Placido Domingo Help Clean Up Soccer?

Placido Domingo kicks a penalty shot in a July 2008 charity soccer match held in Hungary. i i

Placido Domingo kicks a penalty shot in a July 2008 charity soccer match held in Hungary. ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images
Placido Domingo kicks a penalty shot in a July 2008 charity soccer match held in Hungary.

Placido Domingo kicks a penalty shot in a July 2008 charity soccer match held in Hungary.

ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images

It's not often that we here at Deceptive Cadence learn of opera news via ESPN, but then again not every classical artist has the international profile or prestige of Placido Domingo.

It seems to be just that stellar reputation that the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) would like to borrow as the scandal-plagued soccer authority seeks to refurbish its own image. FIFA's profile has suffered in the wake of recent reports of voting irregularity and charges that its officials took bribes for the 2022 World Cup to be hosted in Qatar.

FIFA has asked the 70-year-old Spanish tenor, conductor and LA Opera general director to join an advisory committee being formed by its president, Joseph "Sepp" Blatter, to investigate charges of misconduct within the group and to recommend action.

The two other international celebrities who have been invited to this committee on ethics are legendary Dutch soccer player and Catalonian team manager Johan Cruyff and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. (Kissinger calls himself an "avid football fan.")

While Domingo has yet to formally accept Blatter's offer, there's no doubt of the tenor's love of football. In a statement, Domingo noted that he has been at every World Cup final in every host country since 1970, save the 1978 finals held in Argentina. He's even been known to participate in charity games, as in the picture above. And with his advancing age, Domingo might be looking for other platforms outside of the opera house — although the perpetually overcommitted singer just wrapped up a 15-year term as artistic director of the Washington National Opera.

Speaking professionally, though, the unlikely links between opera and international soccer have paid very handsomely for Domingo. The international smash act of Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti and Jose Carreras — performing together as The Three Tenors — gave some of their biggest concerts in conjunction with four World Cup competitions, including in Los Angeles in 1994 and in Yokohama, Japan, in 2002.

Cementing the relationship between opera and soccer: The Three Tenors at the 1994 World Cup finals.

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