Soccer diplomacy: World Cup host Putin gives Trump a ball

AP , Monday 16 Jul 2018,
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Russian President Vladimir Putin presents a soccer ball to U.S. President Donald Trump (AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin presents a soccer ball to U.S. President Donald Trump (AP)

Riding high after hosting a successful World Cup, Russian President Vladimir Putin brought a special gift to his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump: a soccer ball.

After a journalist asked a question at their joint press conference Monday in Helsinki using soccer metaphors, Putin pulled out a red-and-white ball and tossed it at Trump, at the neighboring podium.

Trump said he'd give it to his 12-year-old son Barron, a soccer fan. Then the U.S. president tossed the ball to his wife Melania, sitting in the front row.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Putin critic, tweeted: ''if it were me, I'd check the soccer ball for listening devices and never allow it in the White House.''

Russia's organization of the monthlong World Cup, which ended Sunday, won wide praise.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

 

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