Brazilian president to leave South Africa before World Cup final

12:24, July 10, 2010      

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Although he is in South Africa on a state visit on Friday, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said that he would not be able to attend the FIFA World Cup final at Johannesburg's Soccer City on Sunday night.

Ranked number one on the world, and having won the title five times, Brazilians were pre-tournament favorites, but they were knocked out in the quarter finals by the Netherlands, who will face Spain in Sunday's final.

Lula said in the South African capital Pretoria that there are duties he has to attend to in his home country.

"I will not be staying. I've been away for seven days already and I'm followed by phone calls from Brazil," Lula said.

He was speaking to the South African Press Association (SAPA) after signing an agreement on cooperation between South Africa and Brazil at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Among other matters, he had to attend to the flood in the northeastern parts of Brazil, he said.

South African President Jacob Zuma said he would not be persuading Lula to stay for the ceremony as he too would have obeyed the call of duty.

Lula said he had been to 27 African countries so far and would be making his 28th trip to Mozambique.

Source: Xinhua


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