President Obama Says FIFA Made the ‘Wrong Decision,’ LeBron’s Return to Cleveland Will Be ‘Brutal’

By Jenny Schlesinger

Dec 2, 2010 2:18pm

"I think it was the wrong decision," the president said of today’s Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) ruling that the 2018 World Cup soccer match would be played in Russia, with the 2022 game played in Qatar.

“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. 

The president shared these thoughts as he bumped into some reporters were being hustled into the Roosevelt Room for a background briefing on tax issues. The president, accompanied by Vice President Biden, was on his way from the Oval Office to Blair House across the street, where he spoke to the nation’s governors. 

"Hey guys, what are you doing here?" the president asked when he saw the throng of journalistas. 

Asked about the status of negotiations with congressional Republicans over the extension of the Bush tax cuts, the president said, “if we work out a deal, we’ll let you know.” 

One reporter asked about LeBron James returning to his former home in Cleveland tonight for a Heat/Cavaliers matchup – his first NBA return to that city since he rejected it with such self-important fanfare. 

“Oh, that’s going to be brutal, isn’t it?” the president said. 

Another reporter noted that the president’s lip – which received 12 stitches last week after it met with the business end of an elbow during a basketball game — looked much better. 

“It looks okay,” he said. “They just took out the stitches today.” 

-Jake Tapper

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