Mandela says World Cup appearance 'possible'

Johannesburg - Nelson Mandela could make a brief appearance at Friday's opening World Cup match between hosts South Africa and Mexico, his grandson said on Tuesday.

"The current discussion is that we afford him time to come in, whether it's 10 minutes or 15 minutes, to walk around the stadium and wave at the crowds, and that's what we're looking at," Mandla Mandela said in remarks on a video provided by the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

"I think to have him sit there an entire 90 minutes of soccer would really impact (on) his state of health because it is winter after all, so we have to guard against that and as South Africans we wish him to live many more years to come."

The former president, who turns 92 next month, is increasingly frail and rarely appears in public.

World Cup organisers say the presence of Mandela, revered globally for his role in fighting apartheid and leading South Africa to democracy, would be a highlight of the month-long tournament.

The foundation last week declined to confirm media reports that Mandela would attend the World Cup opening ceremony before Friday's match, citing security reasons. - Reuters


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