Who knew President Obama was such a soccer fan?
His attachment to basketball is well known -- he greeted the WNBA champion Detroit Shock in the usual White House ceremony today.
But he also spent time with Joseph Blatter, head of soccer's worldwide supervising body, to lobby for the World Cup to return to the United States and to express hope again that he could attend the blockbuster event next year in South Africa.
In White House-speak, this is what happened: "The President welcomed FIFA President Blatter to the White House and urged Mr. Blatter to give strong consideration to the US bid to host the World Cup in either 2018 or 2022. During the half-hour meeting in the Oval Office, President Obama complimented FIFA on their efforts to incorporate community service, education and public health projects into their plans for staging the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. President Obama thanked Mr. Blatter for inviting him to attend next yearís event and said he hoped his schedule would allow him to do so. The President also thanked Mr. Blatter for the soccer balls that he brought with him as gift for the Presidentís soccer-playing daughters."
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.