Fifa hopes Mandela will attend World Cup opener

2010-06-02 13:23

Fifa president Sepp Blatter said he hopes Nelson Mandela will

attend the opening of the World Cup next week, even though his family has said

that he is too old to go to the stadium.

“The right legacy for this event here in South Africa will be,

let’s celebrate Africa’s humanity. First of all, who is the most charismatic

humanist in the world still alive? Nelson Mandela,” Blatter told reporters in

Soccer City, the venue for the opener in Johannesburg.

“We do hope so that he will be at the opening of the World Cup here

in this stadium, and this will be the highlight,” Blatter added.

Mandela turns 92 next month, and rarely appears in public.


grandson Mandla Mandela said in late April that the Nobel Peace Prize winner

would watch the opening match at home.

“My grandfather at this age is very elderly and we are not trying

to intensify his programme,” the grandson told AFP during a trip to India. “He’s

said he would prefer to be at home in the rural countryside to spend time at the


Nelson Mandela made his last public appearance on February 11, when

he visited parliament to mark the 20th anniversary of his release from prison.

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