WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama lobbied the head of soccer's governing body Monday for the World Cup to return to the United States in 2018 or 2022.
Obama welcomed FIFA President Joseph "Sepp" Blatter to the White House for a half-hour meeting, according to a White House statement.
The president urged Blatter to give "strong consideration" to holding the tournament for global soccer supremacy in the United States after the upcoming World Cups in South Africa next year and Brazil in 2014, the statement said.
The United States last hosted the World Cup in 1994.
Obama also thanked Blatter for inviting him to attend next year's World Cup, but stopped short of committing himself, saying he hoped his schedule would allow it, the statement said.
In addition, Obama thanked Blatter for the gift of soccer balls for his daughters Sasha and Malia, who both play the game, according to the statement.
– CNN White House Producer Jamie Crawford contributed to this report