David Beckham will be given the opportunity to take part in the spectacular opening ceremony to the World Cup finals.
Beckham, 34, is expected to take up an offer from Fabio Capello, the England manager, to travel with the official party to South Africa, despite tearing his Achilles tendon last week.
The injury, which Beckham picked up playing for Milan, is likely to keep him out of action for four to five months, denying him the chance of playing in his fourth World Cup finals.
But Beckham’s familiar face could still feature prominently as he is to be invited to take part in the opening ceremony in Joburg on June 11, alongside the likes of Alicia Keys, Shakira and the Black Eyed Peas.
Danny Jordaan, the chief executive of the 2010 World Cup Local Oganising Committee, said he hoped to involve Beckham in some capacity.
Jordaan said: “He was at the draw. We will talk to him. I don’t know his ability to move, so I will talk to him and find out. “He still has huge appeal in South Africa. I saw that when he came out for the draw. They wanted to see him on the pitch with an England shirt on. I have been reading that Capello wants him in and around the England team. We will talk to them to see whether he has time and whether it’s possible.”
Meanwhile, Jordaan rattled off statistics to show that security was a relatively minor problem, and said the government was investigating claims of irrational price hikes.
His belief remains firm that neither problem will derail the event.
“Every organising committee has had to face these issues,” he said.
Jordaan was in London for a meeting with England’s 2018 bid team.
Officially, the South African remains neutral, but his decision to pass on his wisdom indicates which side of the fence he is on.
“If they get everything right they should have a strong bid,” Jordaan said. He stressed, however, that any bid should recognise where football is likely to be in eight years’ time.
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