Boys, rescuers get invitation from Manchester United

Boys, rescuers get invitation from Manchester United

Manchester United have invited the Wild Boars football team and their rescuers to Old Trafford this coming season.

The club posted on their Facebook shortly after news about the successful rescue of the 12 trapped boys and their coach spread on Tuesday.

"Manchester United is greatly relieved to learn that the 12 footballers and their coach trapped in a cave in Thailand are now safe. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected. 

"We would be honoured to welcome the team from the Wild Boars Football Club and their rescuers to Old Trafford this coming season," it wrote.

On the "world's bulletin board" Twitter, other footballers paid tribute as well.

And not just football players were elated at the successful search and rescue operation.

Earlier, Fifa invited the team to the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday.

However, doctors of eight of the boys rescued earlier said they were unlikely to be able to take up the Fifa offer.

All of the boys had come from football training when they first went into the cave on June 23, and were wearing football shirts when they were found - one wore an England top, another the colours of Real Madrid

The plight of the boys has prompted an outpouring of support from across the footballing world, from Brazil legend Ronaldo to England's John Stones and Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi.

The emaciated and dishevelled "Wild Boars" were found after nine days of no contact on a small, muddy bank surrounded by water several kilometres inside the Tham Luang cave.

All had come from football training when they first went into the cave on June 23 and were wearing football shirts when they were found -- one wore an England top, another the colours of Real Madrid.

Images of the desperate group went viral, prompting Fifa boss Gianni Infantino to invite them to the July 15 showpiece in a gesture of solidarity from the footballing world and a dream to most teenage football fans.

But doctors poured cold water on the idea, saying the boys are in good shape but going through a slow and careful recovery that will see them stay in hospital for a week.

"They can't go, they have to stay in hospital for a while," Thongchai Lertwilairatanapong, of the public health ministry, told reporters Tuesday when asked about the offer to attend Sunday's match.

"They're likely to watch it on television," Jedsada Chokdamrungsuk, permanent-secretary of the Ministry of Public Health.

The boys were still far from being rescued at the time the offer was made and as of Tuesday afternoon only eight had been freed as the complex mission entered its final stage.

So far no major health problems have been detected but parents will only be able to visit the first four boys using protective gear and after a period of 48 hours.

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