US President Barack Obama has accepted a FIFA invitation to attend the opening ceremony of the 2010 World Cup, the football governing body’s president Sepp Blatter said on Monday.

“The president of the United States has been invited to the opening ceremony of the 2010 World Cup. He has accepted our invitation,” Blatter told reporters.

“But you know that heads of state are extremely busy and hopefully his schedule will allow him to attend,” he added.

The opening ceremony would be performed at the new 100,000-seat Soccer City stadium on the outskirts of Soweto. The match would feature either hosts Bafana Bafana or defending world champions Italy.

Blatter again stressed he had full confidence in South Africa’s ability to host a successful World Cup.

“In past years the reason that the World Cup has never been staged in Africa is because people in the rest of the world did not trust Africa.

“I trust Africa and South Africa. It is time the rest of the world did the same. The world will see a fantastic spectacle in Africa in 2010. South Africa are going to make everyone proud of Africa,” he said.

DATED: 23rd June 2009