Obama Backs US Bid to Host World Cup
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2009 12:17 PM CDT
In this file photo, then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, then-Sen. Barack Obama, and still-Chicago mayor Richard Daley, watch a video celebrating Chicago's selection as a potential Olympic city.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – President Obama is jumping into a new kind of global politics. An ardent advocate of Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid, Obama is now pushing hard to bring the World Cup to America in 2018 or 2022, the New York Times reports. Obama recently wrote personally to the president of soccer’s governing body, urging it to pick the US when it gathers in December 2010.

“As a child, I played soccer on a dirt road in Jakarta, and the game brought the children of my neighborhood together,” he wrote. Now the US is hoping to similarly bring the world together “in celebration of our common hopes and dreams.” Next year’s World Cup will be held in South Africa, and the 2014 tournament will be in Brazil, so FIFA is believed to be looking for a wealthy, comfortable nation for 2018.