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Interview With Klaus Walther of ZDF German Television

July 01, 1994

World Cup Soccer

Mr. Walther. Mr. President, let us change the subject. Mr. President, first time in the history of World Cup, soccer's World Cup is played in the United States.

The President. Yes.

Mr. Walther. And on the Fourth of July there will be the game U.S.A. versus Brazil. What does it mean for you, personally, to have this game on the Fourth of July?

The President. It's very exciting and, I think, very appropriate we'll play on the Fourth of July against, obviously, a magnificent Brazilian team. Soccer is just really beginning to catch hold in the U.S. and to capture the public imagination. Our children have been playing it in larger and larger numbers.

Mr. Walther. [Inaudible]—your daughter.

The President. And my daughter did, yes. Probably for about 10 years now, our children have been beginning to really play in large numbers. And I think that will have an impact as those children grow up, more and more soccer at the university level, more and more professional soccer. I think that and the World Cup being in the United States are the two things that will make soccer perhaps as big a sport in the U.S. as it is in Europe and other parts of the World.

Mr. Walther. Will you watch the game?

The President. Oh, yes, I expect I will. We've been watching every game we could on television. And of course, I went with Chancellor Kohl and the President of Bolivia to the opening game between Germany and Bolivia in Chicago the other day. And I got a little lesson in soccer; both Presidents were whispering in my ear a little bit. [Laughter]

Mr. Walther. So who's your favorite for the championship?

The President. Well, I have to be for the United States, until we're eliminated. Besides that, we're an underdog. And I like that, since I've always been kind of an underdog, I like it when the underdogs do well. I'm proud of us.

Mr. Walther. Thank you very much.

The President. Thank you.

NOTE: The interview began at 12:20 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. This is a continuation of the interview released by the Office of the Press Secretary on July 1. This portion of the interview was embargoed for release until July 4.

William J. Clinton, Interview With Klaus Walther of ZDF German Television Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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