“Hosting another successful World Cup is important for the continued growth of the sport in the United States. And it is important to me personally,” the president wrote. “As a child, I played soccer on a dirt road in Jakarta, and the game brought the children of my neighborhood together. As a father, I saw that same spirit of unity alive on the fields and sidelines of my own daughters’ soccer games in Chicago.”
President Obama went on to say that soccer is the world’s sport and that the World Cup promotes camaraderie and friendly competition.
“That is why this bid is about much more than a game,” the president said. “It is about the United States of America inviting the world to gather all across our great country in celebration of our common hopes and dreams.”
The president concluded his letter by saying that he hopes his family will get a chance to watch soccer’s pre-eminent event in the United States.
“I strongly support the work of the USSF to bring the Cup back to the United States, and I look forward to working with FIFA to make it the most successful World Cup competition in history,” he said.
Although more celebrated for his basketball prowess and his abilities to pick college basketball winners, President Obama does have a more recent history with the beautiful game. He has attended his daughter Malia's games in Chicago, and in 2003, while visiting his half-sister Auma in London, he took in a West Ham United game at Upton Park.
And earlier this month, while in London for the G20 meetings, he was asked about the England-Ukraine World Cup qualifier that was taking place that same week. The American president begged off answering, saying he "didn't get a briefing" on the game and thus offering his opinion on the match would "be a mistake." A wise decision, most likely.
Allen Ramsey, Goal.com
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