Soccer federation invites 'Wee Jay' to Brazil

By George Georgakopoulos

Eleven-year-old Jay Beatty as well as tens of thousands of Greece fans have had their demand answered by the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO), which has invited the Celtic and avid Giorgos Samaras fan to travel to Brazil and attend Greece’s game with Costa Rica on Sunday.

Following his father’s interview, pictures of his celebrating Greece’s and Samaras’s crucial goal against the Ivory Coast, and the campaign on Facebook reported earlier, “Wee Jay”, who has Down’s Syndrome, will after all travel to Recife to see Greece play.

In an interview Samaras gave on Thursday, he revealed that the federation has decided to invite the 11-year-old Irish boy to Sunday’s World Cup Round-of-16 encounter.

“It was thrilling, moving. This kid gives me so much strength it is unbelievable,” confessed Samaras, who picked up Jay during Celtic’s title celebrations in May in one of that day’s most striking images.

“In talks I’ve had this morning with [EPO president Giorgos] Sarris we said if we can arrange for his tickets so that he can come to see the match with Costa Rica. We will speak with the child’s father and we’ll see, whether we get his OK,” added Samaras, before revealing that “we’ve got a Greece shirt that I will sign now and all the lads will sign later, during lunch. It’s just a small present we can offer to him. We have set a date to meet in Belfast.”