After watching the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in New Jersey on 26 July, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter went on to make an official visit to the White House in Washington on 27 July, where he met Barack Obama, the President of the United States of America.

The two spoke about football for half an hour, during which time the FIFA President invited Obama to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. The head of state does not yet know whether time will permit him to attend, but he has written a letter to Blatter, saying: "I wish you every success for the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, which without doubt will be an historic event."

I must congratulate you on your determination to break down social barriers

"It was a pleasure to receive you in the Oval Office. I very much enjoyed our conversation about football, sport and the importance of education," the letter continued. The US president, who enjoyed 'soccer' in his youth and whose daughters also both play the sport, is particularly interested in the social aspect of football, and concluded his letter saying: "I must congratulate your on your determination to break down social barriers, promote tolerance and encourage harmony between people around the world by spreading a message of hope by means of football."