Sepp Blatter honours Madiba with Fifa gift of remembrance

2014-01-31 14:02

Fifa president Sepp Blatter stopped over at Nelson Mandela’s Houghton home this morning en route to Cape Town to attend the African Nations Championship (Chan) final on Saturday.

He was accompanied by Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke, CAF president Issa Hayatou, Safa president Danny Jordaan and a few members of his executive committee, as well as Tokyo Sexwale, who is the patron of Fifa through the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Blatter said the visit was facilitated by the SA Football Association (Safa) and the aim was to meet the Mandela family to show support and pay tribute to the global icon who died on December 5 2013.

“It is a wonderful day today, but also a day that I have to pay respect to one of the greatest humanists of our time,” said Blatter.

He presented the family, represented by Madiba’s daughter, Zindzi, with a Fifa pennant inscribed with the words “the greatest humanist of them all”.

He added: “His legacy will be maintained in the game, that ‘you shall forgive and be fair’. It will be difficult to match him [Mandela] who said: ‘Let’s celebrate humanity’ when South Africa organised the World Cup in 2010.”

Zindzi Mandela said: “On behalf of the family, we would like to extend our gratitude to Fifa, Safa and CAF for the support. There has been a close relationship between uTata and the organisations. As somebody who believed that sport has the ability to unite us all as a nation and a global family, we should still use the same platform for us to improve relations between different communities and generations. In saying that we remember him, we should all strive to become a global movement of humanity.”

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