Tribute to Nelson Mandela begins World Cup draw
COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil (AP) — Nelson Mandela was remembered with a video tribute to open the World Cup draw ceremony on Friday.
The 90-second memorial montage included images of Mandela holding the World Cup trophy when FIFA awarded his native South Africa hosting rights for the 2010 tournament.
The film began with sustained applause from guests and team delegations, who stood minutes later when FIFA President Sepp Blatteer called for a moment’s silence.
“Now let’s celebrate humanity, let’s celebrate Mandela and let’s celebrate football,” Blatter said, bringing the silent reflection to an end after several seconds.
Mandela, the former South Africa president and Nobel Peace Prize winner, died on Thursday.
His last major public appearance was at the World Cup final in Johannesburg in July 2010.
Then aged 91, Mandela came to the Soccer City stadium during the closing ceremony ahead of the match.
He was driven in an open electric vehicle around the pitch on a chill evening to receive an ovation from nearly 85,000 spectators.