Football World Bids Farewell To Madiba

FIFA President Blatter hails 'extraordinary' Mandela

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The international football community on Thursday learnt the sad news of the passing of former South African President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela. FIFA President Blatter has expressed his deepest sympathy at the loss of such an iconic figure and hailed Mandela.

He said: “It is in deep mourning that I pay my respects to an extraordinary person, probably one of the greatest humanists of our time and a dear friend of mine: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

When he was honoured and cheered by the crowd at Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium on 11 July 2010, it was as a man of the people, a man of their hearts, and it was one of the most moving moments I have ever experienced.

President Blatter on Nelson Mandela
“He and I shared an unwavering belief in the extraordinary power of football to unite people in peace and friendship, and to teach basic social and educational values as a school of life.

“When he was honoured and cheered by the crowd at Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium on 11 July 2010, it was as a man of the people, a man of their hearts, and it was one of the most moving moments I have ever experienced. For him, the World Cup in South Africa truly was ‘a dream come true’.

“Nelson Mandela will stay in our hearts forever. The memories of his remarkable fight against oppression, his incredible charisma and his positive values will live on in us and with us.

“As a mark of respect and mourning, the flags of the 209 member associations at the Home of FIFA will be flown at half-mast and there will be a minute’s silence before the next round of international matches.”

We reflect on some of the most famous quotes from the late Nelson Mandela.

“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for, and to see realised. But my Lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”- Defence statement during the Rivonia Trial, 1964.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – 90th birthday celebration of Walter Sisulu, Walter Sisulu Hall, Randburg, Johannesburg, South Africa,18 May 2002.

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Long Walk to Freedom.

“You sharpen your ideas by reducing yourself to the level of the people you are with and a sense of humour and a complete relaxation, even when you’re discussing serious things, does help to mobilise friends around you. And I love that.” – From an interview with Tim Couzens, Verne Harris and Mac Maharaj for Mandela: The Authorised Portrait , 2006, 13 August 2005.

“I was called a terrorist yesterday, but when I came out of jail, many people embrace

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