The soccer match between Sunderland AFC and Manchester United will be designated “Nelson Mandela Day”.
Sunderland was celebrating its recent collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, according to the Saturday Star.
The event would have even more meaning as messages of support and prayers poured in for the former president who had been admitted to hospital with a recurring lung infection earlier this week.
Sunderland’s players would wear T-shirts for the pregame warm-up, bearing the foundation’s logo and a special “text to donate” message in support of the foundation.
Nelson Mandela Day would see the launch of a special text number which would allow fans to pledge their support by donating £2 (R28) in support of the foundation.
Sunderland and Manchester United will take to the field through a guard of honour of young fans wearing Nelson Mandela Foundation T-shirts, along with 11 specially chosen mascots.
A flag bearing the foundation’s logo will also be displayed and African?musicians, the Abatimbo Drummers of Burundi, will play before the match and at half-time.
The presidency said Mandela was “in good spirits” and making steady progress yesterday after a second day in hospital.
He spent last night in hospital as well.