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Mandela greets fans before World Cup final
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  • http://english.dbw.cn銆€銆€ 2010-07-12 09:56:30

    South Africa's former president and Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela greeted fans before the World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands here on Sunday.

    The 91-year-old anti-apartheid icon, who missed the World Cup opening ceremony after his great-grand daughter died in a car crash, arrived at Soccer City Stadium to a tumult of cheers.

    South Africa's first black president rode next to his wife Graca Machel in an open-air vehicle, waving to the cheering spectators and TV viewers around the world.

    The arrival of Mandela, the symbol of South African democracy, put a perfect finishing touch to Africa's first World Cup.

    Mandela was expected to return home to watch the game, which kicks off at 20:30 local time, on television.

    FIFA President Sepp Blatter on Thursday expressed hope that Mandela would attend the final, saying: "He has had this trophy in his hand when he was in Zurich in 2004, and it will be a wonderful moment for him, for football, for Africa - if this can be a possibility."

    Author锛? 銆€銆€銆€Source锛? xinhua 銆€銆€銆€ Editor锛? Yang Fan