World cup to host 21 world leaders

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iol spt pic Merkel putin REUTERS A total of 21 world leaders, including Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel and Prince Albert of Monaco, have already confirmed they will travel to Brazil for the World Cup. Photo: Sergei Karpukhin

Brasilia - A total of 21 world leaders, including Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel and Prince Albert of Monaco, have already confirmed they will travel to Brazil for the World Cup.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's office said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and 11 heads of state and government would attend the opening match between Brazil and Croatia on June 12 in Sao Paulo.

Among the guests will be the Emir of Qatar Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba and Bolivia's Evo Morales.

Russia's President Putin, whose country will host the next World Cup in 2018, has already announced that he will attend the final match set for July 13 at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Others, including German Chancellor Merkel and US Vice President Joe Biden, will watch one or two match ups and will hold bilateral talks on the sidelines with Rousseff.

Here is the list released by Rousseff's office:

- German Chancellor Angela Merkel - Germany-Portugal match, Salvador, June 16

- Belgium's King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, and Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo - Belgium-Russia match, Rio de Janeiro, June 22

- Chilean President Michelle Bachelet - opening match in Sao Paulo on June 12 and Chile-Australia match in Cuiaba, June 13

- Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic - Brazil-Croatia opening match and Croatia-Cameroon match, Manaus, June 18

- Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa - opening match

- US Vice President Joe Biden - US-Ghana match, Natal, June 16

- Ghana President John Mahama - opening match

- Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez - Honduras-France match, Porto Alegre, June 16

- King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands - Netherlands-Australia match, Porto Alegre, June 18

- Russian President Vladimir Putin - final match, Rio de Janeiro, July 13

- Uruguay's President Jose Mujica - opening match

- Prince Albert II of Monaco - Argentina-Bosnia match, Rio de Janeiro, June 15 and South Korea-Belgium, Sao Paulo, June 26

- Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani - opening match

- Suriname President Desire Bouterse - opening match

- Angola President Jose Eduardo dos Santos - opening match

- Bolivian President Evo Morales - opening match

- Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba - opening match

- Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes - opening match

- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta - semi final, location unknown, and final

- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon - opening match

Sapa-AFP


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