Beckham to have role in World Cup opening ceremony?

Well, the organizers would like to wheel the Galaxy midfielder (or have him hobble) out, apparently to goose ticket sales:

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — World Cup organizers will talk to David Beckham about having a role at the tournament’s opening ceremony.

Organizing committee chief executive Danny Jordaan told The Associated Press on Thursday there have already been indications that Beckham will travel to South Africa with England’s squad, even though he has been ruled out of playing because of a torn Achilles’ tendon.

Beckham is expected to be involved in promoting England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

Jordaan said the organizing committee would approach the former England captain about taking part in the opening ceremony at the Soccer City Stadium in Soweto on June 11.

“I think that already there is an indication that he will come with the England team and he
will work for the 2018 bid,” Jordaan told the AP at a FIFA event in the Johannesburg township of Alexandra. “So we will meet him when he comes here.”

The England team is expected to arrive in South Africa on June 3.

The 34-year-old midfielder ruptured his Achilles’ tendon playing for Italian club AC Milan
this month. He underwent surgery in Finland and is expected to be sidelined about six

England coach Fabio Capello has invited Beckham to join the squad at the monthlong tournament.

Beckham had been hoping to become the first Englishman to play in four World Cups.

Beckham’s presence at the opening ceremony could be a massive boost for local organizers, who have experienced disappointing ticket sales for soccer’s biggest event.

The local organizing committee expressed its disappointment after Beckham was injured on March 14, saying Beckham was a “household name” who would “enhance spectator presence in South Africa.”

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at Cheers!
  • Kingsnake

    I fear the soccer world will be bending over for Beckham until he kicks the bucket. At least I will get to enjoy the spectacle of Posh turning into Donatella Versace …

  • World Cup organisers are to talk to David Beckham about the injured English player having a role at the tournament’s opening ceremony.