15 Apr 2009

U.S President weighs in behind United States bid for Football world cup

3:20 pm on 15 April 2009

The U.S. President Barack Obama has thrown his weight behind America's bid to host the football World Cup in 2018 or 2022, by writing a letter to FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

President Obama wrote that as a child he played football on a dirt road in Jakarta, and the game brought the children of my neighbourhood together.

He says as a father he's also seen the benefits of the game through being on the sidelines of his daughters games.

FIFA will decide the hosts for both tournaments in December next year with the United States hosting the event for the first time in 1994.

England and the joint Spain-Portugal bid, are considered favourites to host the 2018 tournament while the U.S. is seen as a favourite for 2022.

Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia also are bidding, with Netherlands-Belgium submitting a joint bid.

Qatar and South Korea applied for 2022 only.