Washington, Aug 28 (EFE).- President Donald Trump welcomed FIFA president Gianni Infantino to the Oval Office on Tuesday and the soccer chief presented the US leader with a “red card,” which – after listening to an explanation of what it signified – he jokingly showed the media representatives covering the event.
Trump welcomed the head of soccer’s world governing body and the president of the US Soccer Federation, Carlos Cordeiro, to celebrate the selection of the US, along with Mexico and Canada, as the host for the 2026 World Cup.
At the end of the meeting, Infantino gave Trump two soccer jerseys with the president’s surname on the back and good-naturedly proceeded to explain to him how penalties are called in the sport.
“You know, in soccer, we have referees, right?” said Infantino. “And they have cards. Yellow cards and red cards. Yellow card is a warning. And when you want to kick out someone – (you show the player the card.) Like this. So this could be useful. I don’t know.
Almost without letting the FIFA chief finish, Trump grabbed the red card and displayed it to the assembled reporters – as soccer referees do before calling a penalty.
“I like that,” said a smiling Trump, whereupon Cordeiro suggested that he could use the penalty cards at “the next media session.”
Trump has maintained a tense relationship with much of the mainstream press that covers him, accusing them of reporting “fake news” and not adequately covering his achievements.
During the meeting with Infantino and Cordeiro, Trump noted that his 12-year-old son Barron “loves soccer,” adding that “soccer has to be one of the fastest-growing sports in the world.”
The US leader said that when the US Soccer Federation was trying to secure the 2026 World Cup, they telephoned him “constantly, to try to get me to come onboard, but it only took one call because when I heard ‘World Cup,’ I wanted to do it.”
The 2026 World Cup will be the first time that FIFA will parse out the matches among three countries, although the US will host 75 percent of the contests.