FIFA chief Blatter hopeful about Mandela presenting trophy to World Cup winner

Friday, July 9, 2010

JOHANNESBURG - Former South African president Nelson Mandela is likely to be given the honor of presenting the World Cup trophy to the winner of Sunday’s final, if he attends the match, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Thursday.

“If he comes and stays to the end (of the final), then it is possible he will present the trophy,” Sports24 quoted Blatter as telling a press briefing in Johannesburg.

“We all know the reason why Madiba could not attend the opening ceremony also at Soccer City, due to sad bereavement in his family. But we hope he can attend the final. Presenting the trophy would be a fitting honor for South Africa and Africa as Mandela was one of the driving lights to bring the World Cup to South Africa,” Blatter said.

Blatter said he was satisfied and happy with the way the tournament had been organized.

“We have had 62 of the 64 games so far and the tournament has been a great success. Both South Africa and Africa can be proud of their achievements by successfully staging this wonderful event,” he said.

Blatter gave his endorsement to South Africa hosting the Olympic Games in 2020.

He said: “If a country can host the World Cup they can host the Summer Olympics. I will tell the IOC (International Olympic Committee) that South Africa is ready to host the Summer Olympics.” (ANI)

will not be displayed