Diplomatic conclusion to Jones' USA tour
© LOC

OC President Steffi Jones’ trip to the USA concluded on Monday with a visit to the German ambassador in Washington, Dr. Klaus Scharioth. During the meeting at the German embassy, the OC President reported on key elements in preparations for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011, and the vital role of the USA in the continuing development of the women’s game internationally.

"Having an ambassador who’s passionate about sport in a country which is passionate about sport is a major plus point. After all, the German embassy in Washington has a crucial role to play in raising awareness and anticipation in the United States ahead of the Women’s World Cup 2011. With the staging of the Women’s World Cup in 1999, the USA took on a pre-eminent role in the women’s game, and set the absolute gold standard too. We also know that President Barak Obama and his family are passionate about sport. German chancellor Angela Merkel recently presented him with Germany women's replica shirts for his two daughters. We’d be only too delighted to welcome large numbers of American fans to Germany for the Women’s World Cup," commented Jones.

Ambassador Scharioth thanked Jones for her visit, assuring her of his intention to spread the word about the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 to as broad a public as possible in the USA. "We will support you in raising awareness of this wonderful event in this country," the ambassador commented. "Both as the ambassador and as a passionate follower of football, it’s a task I’m delighted to undertake."

By way of thanks for the invitation to the embassy, the OC President presented ambassador Scharioth with a Germany women’s replica shirt. Other highlights on Jones' trip to the USA included her induction into the Hall of Freedom of her previous club Washington Freedom, and a meeting with two-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Mia Hamm.