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Football: World Cup to host 21 leaders, from Putin to Merkel

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.

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.

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