17 July 2020 – The South African Football Association (SAFA) wants to record its appreciation for the tremendous support provided by Father of the Nation, Nelson Mandela during his life and especially support for football.

We want to record the following:
• South Africa was suspended by FIFA in 1961 after the Sharpville massacre and Rivonia arrests. The arrests included Nelson Mandela.
• Madiba gave FIFA the undertaking that the negotiation process in South Africa will lead to democratic elections.
• Based on his undertaking to FIFA, the world football governing body accepted South Africa into the FIFA family in 1992, two years before the national elections that ushered the new dispensation.
• Upon his release, SAFA gave permission for the welcome rally for Nelson Mandela at FNB Stadium which was then wholly owned by the FA.
• After the killing of Chris Hani and the threat to the negotiations, SAFA agreed to a mass rally at FNB Stadium for Mandela to address the nation.
• In 1996, Nelson Mandela was present at FNB Stadium and handed the Africa Cup of Nations trophy to Bafana Bafana captain, Neil Tovey.
• Madiba visited Bafana Bafana at their hotel ahead of the crucial 1998 FIFA World Cup match against Congo which South Africa won 1-0 through a Phil Masinga goal that sent the whole country into raptures. South Africa qualified for their maiden FIFA World Cup in France.
• On 14/15 May 2004, Nelson Mandela accompanied SAFA delegation to Zurich, Switzerland for the final presentation and decision on the 2010 FIFA World Cup hosts.
• On 11 July 2010, Madiba made his memorable appearance at FNB Stadium to greet 90 000 football fans and millions others watching on television for the final match between Netherland and eventual winners Spain. This was Madiba’s last public appearance.
• In 2011, FNB hosted a memorial service to say farewell to South Africa’s icon. The memorial service was attended by several heads of states from Africa, Europe, Asia and Americas.

“SAFA will forever remember Tata Nelson Mandela’s contribution to our acceptance to the international football family and hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2010. We will continue to remember his contribution and how he used sport to unite people. He was inspirational to our senior national team where the Madiba Magic inspired the team to greater heights,” said SAFA President, Dr Danny Jordaan.

“Those of us who walked and worked with Madiba will always remember this loyal servant of the nation. He was a South African, continental and global giant,” added the SAFA President.