Obama offers support for US World Cup bid

WASHINGTON- US President Barack Obama offered support Monday for the US bid to host to World Cup, the head of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) said after a meeting at the White House.
Joseph Blatter told Obama that as FIFA chief he has to stay "neutral" on the issue of bids -- there are 11 contenders so far for the 2018 host country -- but said that Obama appealed for Blatter to "make another move toward United States soccer."

Joseph Blatter
Joseph Blatter
According to Blatter, Obama said that being able to host the competition might boost the US profile of the sport, which is called soccer in the United States and is much less popular than American football.
Blatter told reporters after the meeting that he encouraged the US president to attend either the opening or closing match at next year's World Cup, which is being held in South Africa.
The FIFA head said Obama instructed his aides to see whether his schedule for 2010 might accommodate a trip to the international competition.
Blatter said he played a little football with the president, who is better known for his basketball skills than his football talent.
But the FIFA chief said the US president managed to control the ball, kicking it twice with his feet and once with his head, and said he was "impressed" by Obama's skills.

Monday, July 27th 2009

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