US President Barack Obama was outspoken in his criticism of FIFA's decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar instead of the United States.
"I think it was the wrong decision," he said to a group of reporters at the White House.
Obama, who played soccer as a kid in Jakarta, Indonesia, made a surprise appearance via a prerecorded message at the final presentation by the US Bid Committee on Wednesday.
He also welcomed an African member of the FIFA Executive Committee last week in an attempt to help the US land the 2022 World Cup.
“But I continue to be optimistic that our team – wherever we’re playing – is gonna make it to the finals next time out,” he said.