Mandela to attend World Cup opener
Former South African president Nelson Mandela plans to attend the June 11 opening match of the World Cup, FIFA President Sepp Blatter confirmed at a dinner Wednesday night honoring the host nation's team, Bafana Bafana.
"Madiba will be there," Blatter said, according to The (Johannesburg) Times. "It is the merit of only one man to bring the World Cup to South Africa and that man is my dear friend Nelson Mandela. He is the most charismatic and honest leader of all time and will be identified by history as such."
South Africa opens the month-long tournament against Mexico at Johannesburg's Soccer City Stadium, the 94,700-seat jewel among the 10 venues.
Mandela, 91, was a powerful force in South Africa's successful bid to host the 2010 World Cup.
June 3, 2010; 6:55 AM ET
Categories: 2010 World Cup , South Africa | Tags: Nelson Mandela, World Cup
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