An eleven-year-old Irish boy invited by the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) to attend Greece’s World Cup game with Costa Rica on Sunday was unable to accept the invite as his family had already organized a vacation at the same time.
Jay Beatty, who has Down’s syndrome, received a last-minute invitation for Sunday’s game after a video posted by his father on Facebook showed the boy celebrating Greece’s over Ivory Coast.
Images of Jay, a Celtic and Giorgos Samaras supporter, celebrating Celtic’s title in the arms of the Greek striker had emerged in May.
“We were unable to take up the offer and are so gutted, but truly grateful that people would do this for Jay. We cannot believe that this has happened and are so humbled and would like to wish Greece all the best in the World Cup,” his father Martin wrote on Facebook on Friday.
On Thursday, Samaras revealed that the federation had decided to invite the 11-year-old to Brazil.
“Thanks Sammy I hope you win the World Cup. I am sorry I won’t be there, but I still love you very much and I hope you win. Come on Sammy!», Jay said to Samaras in a video posted by his father on Facebook on Friday,