President Obama accepts official invite to 2010 World Cup

Tuesday June 23, 2009

America's president Barack Obama has accepted an official invitation to attend the opening ceremony of the football World Cup in South Africa next year.

His attendance will make the sporty leader – a fan of English club side West Ham United – the first US president in 16 years to go to the international tournament.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter earlier confirmed that the official invite had been accepted, and while the White House has not confirmed the news, some of Mr Obama's aides are certainly keen for him to take up the offer.

In his daily briefing spokesman Robert Gibbs said he could not yet say whether the president was attending the football event in Johannesburg on June 11, but said: "I asked (him) specifically… in order to get my seat early."

"I can assure you that a small group of us have assembled in order to move the president in that direction," he added.

Photo: ę Getty Images

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