SA wants Obama at World Cup

NEW YORK - Danny Jordaan says South Africa is prepared to have US President Barack Obama visit during the World Cup soccer tournament.

NEW YORK - Danny Jordaan says South Africa is prepared to have US President Barack Obama visit during the World Cup soccer tournament.

"It would be wonderful if he comes," the Local Organising Committee chief executive said this week .

"We expect a high number of heads of state during the World Cup. We're going to get many high-profile individuals," he said.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter and Jordaan hope that former president Nelson Mandela will be able to attend too.

"Of course, Mandela is 91 years old. It's something that we have to wait and see," Jordaan said.

He said it was hard to evaluate a purported threat by al-Qaeda aimed at the US-England match on June 12. Jordaan said the "authenticity of that thing" had not been determined.

He projected 373000 international visitors, of whom 100000 will come from Africa. There are still 120000 to 140000 unsold tickets. Part of the difficulty has been caused by the global recession he said.

"That crisis affected many of the countries in Europe, including England and Germany, which happen to be the major markets. People in 2010, who might have had the capacity to travel in 2004 and 2005, might now not have that capacity," Jordaan said. -Sapa-AP

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