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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.

By Liz Clarke  |  June 3, 2010; 6:55 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , South Africa  | Tags: Nelson Mandela, World Cup  
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Next: 'Davy Crockett' at the World Cup

Comments

Leave it to Sepp to make a point to remind us all just how good friends he is with Nelson Mandela.

Posted by: Wendell_Gee | June 3, 2010 7:08 AM | Report abuse

umm was there ever a chance Mandela wouldn't be there? Did Sepp just now finally give him an extra ticket after a buddy of his bailed out on going?

Posted by: Southeasterner | June 3, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

"He is the most charismatic and honest leader of all time and will be identified by history as such."

Is he talking about Mourinho?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 3, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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