Tales from the Trail

United States 0-2 in world sports arena

The United States has now lost out on two huge world sporting events in the past two years. And in each instance to first-time winners.

It may be an unintended consequence of the fight against terrorism. The very security policies aimed at protecting the United States from attack, might be working to bench it in contests to host world sporting events due to some concerns that foreign fans, players, even officials may have trouble entering the United States for the games. SOCCER/WORLD

FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, the smallest country ever to host the soccer finals,  over competitors Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States.

President Barack Obama was clearly not pleased, telling reporters: ”I think it was the wrong decision.”

He had sent the top U.S. law enforcement official, Attorney General Eric Holder, to Zurich on Tuesday to help make a last-minute pitch in the bid to secure the soccer games for the United States and presumably to soothe any concerns over security.

Obama to World Cup? Well, if U.S. team reaches the finals….

BASEBALL/

President Barack Obama has said he might make the trip to this summer’s soccer World Cup in South Africa — but won’t commit unless the U.S. team reaches the finals, according to South Africa’s foreign minister.

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, at the State Department to formally launch the new U.S.-South Africa “strategic dialogue” agreement, said Obama had indicated he might be lured to the World Cup, which begins on June 11 and holds its final at Soccer City in Johannesburg on July 11.

“I remember him saying that he would — maybe  — consider coming if the American team goes to the quarter finals, might come if they reach the semi-finals and WILL come if they are to the finals,” Nkoana-Mashabane said at the signing ceremony, earning a laugh from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.