HELSINKI: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin tried to lighten the mood at a post-summit news conference with US President Donald Trump on Monday by giving him a World Cup football which was made in Pakistan.
Trump had congratulated Putin on Russia’s successful hosting of the competition, which came to a climax on Sunday a day before the Helsinki summit.
Facing a barrage of questions about the war in Syrian and Russia’s alleged role in Trump’s 2016 election victory, both men broke into brief smiles as the Kremlin chief handed over the souvenir.
“Speaking about having the ball in our court in Syria,” Putin said, in an awkward change of subject. “President Trump has just mentioned that we’ve successfully concluded the football World Cup.
“Speaking of football, actually, Mr President, I will give the ball to you and now the ball is in your court. All the more as the United States will host the World Cup in 2026.”
Trump cheerfully returned the compliment, saying he hoped the United States would host an equally successful competition, and promised to give the ball to his 12-year-old son Barron.
Pakistan remained the official football provider for FIFA World Cup.
The Adidas Telstar 18 which was the official match ball of the 2018 FIFA World Cup was produced in Sialkot.