Homage to Mandela at World Cup draw
World Cup organisers paid a poignant applause homage to late former South African president Nelson Mandela to launch on Friday’s ceremony for the draw for next year’s finals.
Mandela, who died on Thursday aged 95, was pictured on a giant screen holding the World Cup trophy at the 2010 finals in his homeland.
Organisers held a minute’s silence to mark Mandela’s passing and Sepp Blatter, president of world football body Fifa, paid tribute to one of the world’s “great humanists.”
Organisers had earlier lauded Mandela’s understanding of the importance of sport in breaking down barriers.
Musical tribute also came from rapper Emicida, chosen to launch the pre-draw entertainment as he included a “Thank you Mandela” lyric in his performance.