Johannesburg – Soccer boss Danny Jordaan will lead a delegation of soccer representatives to the burial of former president Nelson Mandela at his Qunu homestead on Sunday.
“We as Safa believe that the high profile of our delegation is a sincere recognition of the role Nelson Mandela played within our sport,” the SA Football Association president said in a statement on Friday.
“This is the man who played a significant role in South Africa being readmitted back into the Fifa football family soon after his release.”
Jordaan will be accompanied by his deputies, Elvis Shishana, Lucas Nhlapo and Irvin Khoza, who is also chairman of the Premier Soccer League.
National executive committee members Ria Ledwaba, Xolile Nkompela, Anastasia Tsichlas and Pooby Govindasamy will also form part of the delegation.
Jordaan said Madiba had played key roles in the country hosting the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations tournament, as well as influencing delegates to vote for South Africa to host the 2010 World Cup.
“Most countries would talk about their magnificent stadiums and modern airports and roads, but we had Nelson Mandela. Other countries used to complain that it was unfair and not equal,” Jordaan said.
He said it was somewhat of a sad ending because come the 2010 World Cup, the world icon had been too ill to enjoy the fruits of his labour.
But his appearance at the FNB stadium, also known as Soccer City, waving to the crowd, was still one of the most moving moments ever witnessed.
“We told him to just go out on the car, wave to the people, and go back and rest.” – Sapa