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Remarks at a Meeting With Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) President Giovanni V. Infantino and United States Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro To Discuss the 2026 World Cup and an Exchange With Reporters

August 28, 2018

The President. Well, thank you very much. We very much appreciate the fact that we have won a very important event: the World Cup in 2026. And we'll be hosting it along with Mexico and Canada. And it's a very special event. I think it's probably—certainly one of the biggest, and maybe the biggest sporting event in the world.

And soccer has come such a long way. Soccer is a game—I guess you call it "football." But over here, maybe at some point, they'll change the name. I'm not sure, but we'll see.

Mr. Infantino. Let's see. Let's see. We can negotiate that. [Laughter]

The President. But it's working very well either way. But I just want to thank Gianni Infantino for being here. He's the president of FIFA and a highly respected man. In fact, when my son heard he was going to be here, he said, "Dad, I'd like to meet him." So you're pretty famous, right? Pretty important and pretty famous.

Mr. Infantino. Yes, it looks like it.

The President. He likes—my son, Barron, loves soccer. And soccer has to be one of the fastest growing sports in the world. And the job you've done is really fantastic, Gianni. So thank you very much.

Mr. Infantino. Thank you.

The President. And I want to also pay my respect to Carlos Cordeiro, who—as president, in this country, of soccer—has been incredibly instrumental in helping us to get the World Cup. And he's worked so hard, so long. And they were calling me 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.

And again, we want to thank you. It's all signed up. It's all set to go. And it will be a special event. I think it's going to be something, really, very special.

And, Gianni, maybe I'd ask you to say a few words, and then Carlos. Please.

Mr. Infantino. Definitely. Well, thanks. Thanks, President, for welcoming us here. It's a great honor to be here. And thanks for everything you are doing to support our sport as well. Obviously, 2026, the World Cup—biggest event—sporting event for sure, but probably even social event in the world.

We just had the World Cup in Russia. More than 4 billion viewers. The final only, over 1 billion viewers. It's massive. It's huge. So, in Russia, President, we said that you would organize the best World Cup ever. Right?

The President. Right. Right.

Mr. Infantino. And we did organize the best World Cup ever.

The President. Right. Mr. Infantino. In the U.S., together with Canada and Mexico, we want to organize the greatest World Cup ever, if you agree.

The President. Right, okay. Well, we'll do it.

Mr. Infantino. And for this, we will work together and do whatever we can to make sure that this be a fantastic event. But I'm looking very, very much forward—and the world is looking that much forward—to that.

The President. It's very exciting. Everybody is talking about it, and it's very exciting.

And, Carlos?

Mr. Cordeiro. Well, Mr. President, thank you for hosting us today. For my part, for my federation—the U.S. Soccer Federation for the united bid representing the U.S., Canada, and Mexico—we are really very honored. Very honored. Deeply honored to be hosting this event in 2026. It's right around the corner. We have a lot for work to do, but we look forward to working with you and your administration.

Let me also thank you, Mr. President, for your help, support throughout the campaign—your written assurances and warranties. I think without out that we wouldn't have won quite such a convincing victory. So thank you very much for that.

The President. Well, thank you, Carlos. And I have to also thank Bob Kraft, who I know that you were working very hard with. Bob originally called me, and he said, "What do you think of the idea of trying to get the World Cup to the United States?" And I said, "I think we really like it." And then, we got Canada, we got Mexico involved, and we're going to have a great partnership. And it's going to be very special. I look forward to it.

So let's see, 2026—I won't be here. I won't be here. Maybe they'll extend the term, because I know they'd love to see some—[laughter] Because if they don't extend——

Mr. Infantino. With good reason.

The President. ——the media is going to be very boring. It's going to be very boring. They'll all be out of business, I guess.

But we will be there, and it will be a very, very important and a very special event.

And I think, also, having it in the United States is very important for soccer.

Mr. Infantino. It is. It is.

The President. Especially in light of the fact that soccer has done so well.

Mr. Infantino. Yes, and it's growing.

The President. Thank you, my friend. I appreciate it very much.

Mr. Infantino. Thank you, President. Thank you.

Mr. Cordeiro. Mr. President.

The President. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Mr. Infantino. Mr. President, I have a little——

Google Inc.

Q. Mr. President, do you think Google should be investigated? Mr. Infantino. I have a little something for you. Can I give it to you first?

The President. Sure. I'd love that. Thank you.

Mr. Infantino. Before the questions come.

Q. I have a question for you too.

Mr. Infantino. Thank you.

Brazil's National Soccer Team

Q. Can I ask him a question?

The Preisdent. Yes.

Q. So I want to know if you guys are discussing——

The President. What—excuse me. Excuse me.

Mr. Infantino. One second.

The President. Can you just hold it? Where are you from?

Q. Brazil.

The President. Okay.

Mr. Infantino. Soccer country.

Q. We have the best team in the world. [Laughter]

The President. Except, it had a little problem last time.

Q. A little bit.

The President. Okay.

Q. No fair. It was not fair.

[At this point, Mr. Infantino presented a jersey to the President.]

The President. Let me stand up, Gianni.

Mr. Infantino. So you are part of the FIFA team now.

The President. That's good. That's good. Great. Thank you very much. That's very nice.

Mr. Cordeiro. And if I could get the U.S. jersey.

[Mr. Cordeiro presented a jersey to the President.]

The President. Yes. Wow, look at that. Huh?

Mr. Cordeiro. And no less with the President's name.

The President. That's pretty good. Thank you. Thank you, Carlos. That's really very nice.

Mr. Infantino. And one more thing that could be useful for you. You know, in soccer, we have referees, right?

[Mr. Infantino presented a referee's wallet containing soccer penalty cards to the President.]

The President. Right. Mr. Infantino. And they have cards. Yellow cards and red cards.

The President. Right.

Mr. Infantino. Yellow card is a warning. And when you want to kick out someone, you show them the red card.

[The President pretended to toss a red card toward members of the press pool.]

Mr. Infantino. [Laughter] Like this.

The President. That's true. That's true. Right? That's very good.

Mr. Infantino. So this could be useful, I don't know.

The President. I like that.

Mr. Infantino. That's for you.

The President. I like that.

Mr. Cordeiro. The next media session.

The President. Thank you very much. Thank you, Carlos. Congratulations.

Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.

Border Security/Mexico

Q. [Inaudible]—with Mexico about paying for the wall?

The President. Yes. The wall will be paid for very easily by Mexico. It will ultimately be paid for by Mexico.

Google Inc./Twitter/Facebook, Inc.

Q. Do you think that Google should be investigated?

The President. Yes, I think Google has really taken advantage of a lot of people. And I think that's a very serious thing, and it's a very serious charge. I think what Google and what others are doing—if you look at what's going on at Twitter, if you look at what's going on in Facebook, they'd better be careful, because you're—you can't do that to people. You can't do it.

We have tremendous—we have literally thousands and thousands of complaints coming in. And you just can't do that. And so I think that Google and Twitter and Facebook, they're really treading on very, very troubled territory. And they have to be careful. It's not fair to large portions of the population.

Okay. Thank you very much, everybody.

NOTE: The President spoke at 2:52 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Robert K. Kraft, chairman and chief executive officer, Kraft Group.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks at a Meeting With Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) President Giovanni V. Infantino and United States Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro To Discuss the 2026 World Cup and an Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/332671

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