[WORLD CUP 2018/22 BID] What's the big deal about breakfast at the White House? In a World Cup bid process where governmental support is considered an essential element, the 7:25 a.m. date FIFA inspectors have on Wednesday -- with or without President Barack Obama in attendance -- is an important display of support for the U.S. bid for the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.
The importance of governmental support in the campaign was evidenced recently when David Cameron, the British prime minister, called FIFA President Sepp Blatterto offer his "apologies" that he would be on a family vacation when FIFA inspectors visited England on their 2018/22 World Cup inspection tour.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin threw his weight behind his country's powerful bid that some observers believe has surpassed that of England and its other European rivals for the 2018 World Cup.
The six-man FIFA delegation, headed by Chilean soccer federation president Harold Mayne-Nicholls, began its tour in New York area on Tuesday and will travel to facilities in the Washington and Miami areas in Wednesday after the White House visit and a private tour to the top of the Washington Monument.
"We're not sure of all the guests," said U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati of the White House attendee list, "but there certainly will be a couple of cabinet members and a couple senior members of the president's staff."
Obama's staff includes chief spokesperson Robert Gibbs, who was a goalie at N.C. State.
Obama met Blatter in 2009, after U.S. Soccer announced plans to bid for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Former President Bill Clinton is chairman of the U.S. bid committee and met 13 of the 24 members of the FIFA executive committee at the recent World Cup. Vice President Joe Biden also attended the World Cup.
The FIFA tour will wind up Thursday in Texas.
7:25 a.m. ET -- Breakfast at the White House
8:30 a.m. ET -- Site visit and private tour of the Washington Monument
9:30 a.m. ET -- Visit to FedEx Field in Landover, Md.
12:30 p.m. ET -- Sun Life Stadium World Cup field configuration preview
1:00 p.m. ET -- Miami Local Organizing Committee bid presentation
2:00 p.m. ET -- Sun Life Stadium visit in Miami Gardens, Fla.