During a meeting with FIFA and U.S. soccer officials Tuesday, President Donald Trump jokingly threw up a red card in the vicinity of the press signaling they have been tossed out.
It all started when FIFA President Gianni gave Trump a pair of cards — one yellow, the other red — that soccer referees use during a game.
“One more thing that could be useful for you,” Gianni said to Trump. “In soccer we have referees, right? And they have cards. Yellow cards and red cards. Yellow cards are a warning and when you want to kick out someone …”
It was then that Trump took the red card from Gianni and tossed it up in the direction of the press who were there covering the event. Gianni and the rest of the room could be seen and heard laughing at the president’s gesture.
“That’s very good. I like that,” Trump said.
U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro added to the president’s joke saying, “The next media session.”
Gianni, Cordeiro and Trump were meeting earlier to discuss the role of the U.S. in the 2026 Men’s World Cup.
The U.S., in a joint bid with Mexico and Canada, won the bid in a landslide vote over Morocco when FIFA members voted earlier this year, 134-65.
Trump had lobbied for the prestigious event in April via Twitter.
“The U.S. has put together a STRONG bid w/ Canada & Mexico for the 2026 World Cup,” Trump wrote. “It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the U.S. bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)?”
The U.S. has put together a STRONG bid w/ Canada & Mexico for the 2026 World Cup. It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the U.S. bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 26, 2018
Trump lamented the fact that he wouldn’t be in office when the event comes to the U.S.
“I won’t be here. Maybe they’ll extend the term,” the president joked. “If they don’t extend, the media is going to be very boring.”
However, the president was optimistic about the new relationship with FIFA officials saying, “We’re going to have a great partnership, and it’s going to be very special.”
In 2026, the World Cup will expand to 48 teams as compared to the 32 teams who qualified in 2018.
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