President Trump meets with FIFA, U.S. Soccer chiefs at White House
President Donald Trump met with the leaders of FIFA and the U.S. Soccer Federation in the Oval Office on Tuesday.
FIFA's Gianni Infantino and U.S. Soccer's Carlos Cordeiro visited the White House to discuss the 2026 World Cup, which the U.S. will be hosting alongside Canada and Mexico.
"We very much appreciate the fact that we have won a very important event -- the World Cup in 2026 -- and will be hosting it along with Mexico and Canada," Trump said as the media assembled after the meeting. "And it's a very special event, I think it's probably, certainly one of the biggest and maybe the biggest sporting event in the world and soccer's come such a long way.
"Soccer is a game, I guess you call it football, but over here maybe at some point they'll change the name, I'm not sure. But we'll see. It's working very well either way."
Trump thanked New England Revoution owner Robert Kraft for first bringing the World Cup bid to his attention and also praised Cordeiro, who was elected to the U.S. Soccer post in February, for being "incredibly instrumental in helping us get the World Cup."
"He's worked so hard, so long and they were calling me constantly to try and get me to come on board but it only took one call because when I heard World Cup, I wanted to do it," Trump said. "And, again, we want to thank you, it's all signed up, it's all set to go and it'll be a special event -- I think it's going to be something really very special."
Trump will not be in office in 2026, even if he wins a second term, though the president joked that perhaps his term could be extended.
"So, let's see, 2026? I won't be here. I won't be here. Maybe they'll extend the term because I know they'd love to see that," Trump said. "Because if they don't extend the media is going to be very boring, it's going to be very boring. They'll all be out of business I guess."
Earlier in the day, Trump had complained on Twitter of "rigged" media coverage, and he used a gift from Infantino to further his rhetoric.
The FIFA president gave Trump several tokens, including a referee's book with red and yellow cards. After listening to an explanation of how red cards are used to eject players from games, Trump picked it up and waved it at the journalists in the room.
"So this could be used for, I don't know, huh?" Infantino said.
Cordeiro then suggested: "The next media session."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.