- Barack Obama - FIFA - USA - World Cup
AFP - US President Barack Obama placed his support firmly behind his country's bids to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cups on Wednesday.
Obama, who is playing a prominent role in supporting Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, has written a letter to world governing body FIFA expressing his full support.
He drew on his experiences as a child growing up in Indonesia - where his mother had taken him after she married an Indonesian - and those of his two daughters in the States.
"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," President Obama wrote in his letter.
"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."
The United States - who hosted a highly successful edition in 1994 - face among other rivals for both races Australia, England - who hosted their only World Cup in 1966 when they enjoyed their only win - Indonesia, Japan - co-hosts with South Korea in 2002 - two-time hosts Mexico and Russia.
The decision as to who hosts the two finals will be taken in December 2010 a few months after South Africa have hosted the 2010 edition while Brazil are hosting the 2014 finals.