Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Obama meets Blatter at the White House [VIDEO]
by Paul Kennedy, July 28th, 2009 7:02AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily



[WORLD CUP 2018/2022] U.S. President Barack Obama met with FIFA President Sepp Blatter Monday to discuss soccer, in particular the U.S. bid for the 2018 or 2022 World Cup. Blatter reportedly joked that while Obama, who was presented with soccer balls for daughters and tried juggling a ball, wasn't ready to make the U.S. national team that played Brazil in the recent Confederations Cup final, he could have made the team that lost to Mexico, 5-0, in the Gold Cup final ...

Blatter also presented Obama a ball from last month's Confederations Cup final the USA lost to Brazil, 3-2, after leading, 2-0, at halftime. Showing he has just as good sense of humor as Obama, Blatter joked that the ball was from the first half. (Recently, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva presented Obama with a Brazil jersey from the game, and Obama later replied that the next time the USA and Brazil met the Americans wouldn't blow a two-goal lead.)

Blatter, who was in the United States to attend the 2009 Gold Cup final, invited Obama to attend the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Obama's press secretary, former N.C. State goalie Robert Gibbs, said he personally would love to attend the World Cup but added that "scheduling has warned me not to accept unilaterally."

While Blatter remained noncommittal on the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, his visit to the United States and to meet Obama is a big boost for the U.S. bid.

Blatter attended a sellout crowd for the USA-Mexico final at Giants Stadium and toured the new Meadowlands Stadium.

There have been huge crowds in recent weeks for international games, a testament to the support and huge facilities that exist in the United States.

In an interview with AP on Sunday, Blatter pressed U.S. soccer officials to improve the level of play in MLS, suggesting them need to switch the season from a spring-fall sport to fall-spring sport so as to fall in line with most of the rest of the world.

"If they want to be called a major league ... and have this impact of other major leagues like American football, baseball and the NBA, I think they are far away in quality," he said. "I think with the number of participants on the youth level, they should try to do it. For the national team, they are not the only one with players mostly not playing inside the country. It's the same as Brazil and Argentina, who have most of their players in Europe. It can't help football in the U.S. if the heroes and stars are not playing here. How can the youth identify with the game?"

Sepp Blatter's interview with AP

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Jake Edwards    
"It'll evolve slightly for some of those teams over the coming seasons, I believe. We'll find ...
MLS Decision Day: What's at stake    
The 2016 Supporters' Shield and the final two playoff berths are on the line on Sunday ...
MLS Countdown: Donovan, Gordon are Galaxy wild cards    
Last weekend Landon Donovan started his first game since coming out of retirement yet it was ...
This week in women's college soccer    
Stanford junior Andi Sullivan and BYU senior Ashley Hatch made their national team debuts with the ...
This week in men's college soccer    
One of the most impressive streaks in recent years in men's college soccer is Denver's 32-game ...
What They're Saying: Sigi Schmid    
"I would love to do that, but there's still this thing, stigma, lack of respect or ...
CCL: FC Dallas rallies to clinch group title    
Needing at least a tie to advance, FC Dallas rallied from 2-0 down after 22 minutes ...
USL Final: Red Bulls II favored, but Rangers are ready    
The USL season concludes Sunday at Red Bull Arena, where the home team, New York Red ...
CCL: Seedings give MLS chance of two teams in semis    
Concacaf pairs the teams for the quarterfinals of the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League by seeding them ...
U.S. U-18 women lose to England, beat France     
The U.S. U-18 women's national team, coached by April Heinrichs, opened the 2016 Women's International Cup ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives