July 18, 2007

90 minutes for Mandela!

There really is no person on the planet more awesome than Nelson Mandela -- as if this picture didn't say that already.

To honor the South African hero, soccer legend Pele and Samuel Eto'o will highlight a friendly soccer match today for Mandela's birthday.

That makes Mandela the first person in history (and who better?) to have two FIFA-sanctioned games played in his honor.

The first was in 1999 in front of 40,000 fans in Johannesburg, marking the end of Mandela's presidency.

The 89-year old is a huge soccer fan and was instrumental in getting South Africa its World Cup bid -- the first in the continent's history.
"We are honoured to once again be able to stage -- after nearly a decade -- a unique match to honour an extraordinary man who dedicated his lifetime to the promotion of human rights and democracy," said FIFA President Sepp Blatter in a statement.
I wish I could be there.

Happy birthday Mr. Mandela.

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