Johannesburg – The SA Football Association (Safa) says it is in deep mourning following the death of Nelson Mandela.
Mandela died at his home in Houghton around 8.50pm on Thursday.
“Madiba was responsible for lifting the spirits of our football nation from the talks to unite the association to victory at the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations,” Safa president Danny Jordaan said in a statement on Friday.
“He served as the catalyst in our bid for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.”
Jordaan said that while they had been watching Mandela's deteriorating health over the last year, they were all still shocked by his death.
Safa called on the entire football community to observe a moment of silence before every match they play in honour of Mandela, describing him as a hero who inspired the nation to achieve in sport, and to work to emulate his example. – Sapa