Obama Wants U.S. to Host World Cup - NBC 6 South Florida

Obama Wants U.S. to Host World Cup

The president begs organizers to bring soccer tourney to America

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    Obama Wants U.S. to Host World Cup
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    If Obama has his way, big-time soccer play in the World Cup could be coming to the United States.

    President Barack Obama just added another goal to his to-do list.

    He is pushing for the World Cup to be held on American soil, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

    The soccer fan-in-chief wrote a handwritten letter to the president of FIFA, the world soccer body, begging him to name the United States host to the global soccer tournament, which is held every four years.

    “As a child, I played soccer on a dirt road in Jakarta, and the game brought the children of my neighborhood together,” Obama wrote in the letter, hand-delivered to Joseph S. Blatter.

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    Obama said that soccer brought his family closer, too -- Sasha and Malia Obama are both fans and play the game.

    “As a father, I saw that same spirit of unity alive on the fields and sidelines of my own daughters’ soccer games in Chicago,” Obama wrote.

    Obama also wrote that soccer was "truly, the world's sport."

    “That is why this bid is about much more than a game,” the letter read.

    “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 also recently lent support to Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games with a video he sent directly to the International Olympic Committee. His public plea for the World Cup could hold some weight in FIFA's decision, experts said.

    “The support of the president, who is extraordinarily popular around the world, is a huge plus,” Sunil Gulati, the president of the United States federation, told the Times.

    The U.S. -- which last hosted the tournament in 1994 -- could host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup - the 2014 tournament is already slated to happen in Brazil.