m_Fifa to honour Madiba at Club World Cup

Former South African President Nelson Mandela

World football governing body Fifa will honour the late former South African State President Nelson Mandela at the start of the Fifa Club World Cup taking place in Morocco from December 11.

Fifa President Sepp Blatter made the revelation while paying tribute to Mandela, who passed away last Thursday and will be buried in Qunu on Sunday.

“It is with great sadness that I pay my respects to an extraordinary personality, one of the great humanists of our time and a dear friend of mine, Nelson Mandela. Madiba and I shared an unwavering belief that football had the power to bring people together from all walks of life. That it is unique in its power to inspire unity, solidarity and equality among all people,” said Blatter.

The Fifa boss also reflected Madiba’s last public appearance at the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

“When Madiba was cheered by the crowd at Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium on July 11, 2010, it was a man of the people, a man of the hearts and it was one of the most moving moments I have ever experienced in my life.

“For him the World Cup in South Africa was truly a dream come true. Nelson Mandela will still stay in our hearts forever. The memories of his incredible fight against oppression, his incredible charisma and his positive values will live on in us and with us.

“As a tribute to the legacy of Mandela, a Madiba moment of respect and reflection will be held in the stadium at the kick-off of every match at the Club World Cup in Morocco, starting 11 December. On behalf of the global football community, in January, I will pay my last respects at his final resting place in Qunu. Thank you Madiba,” said Blatter.