24 July 2020 – FIFA President Gianni Infantino has penned a letter lavishing praise on Tata Nelson Mandela’s contribution to human rights, democracy and peace among others. In the same correspondence send to SAFA President on Friday, 24 July 2020, Infantino thanked Dr Danny Jordaan for his unwavering efforts to combat racism from the sport. Infantino reaffirmed FIFA’s firm commitment to fight against racism and any form of discrimination and violence. Part of the letter from Infantino to SAFA reads: “Last Saturday 18 July, the world celebrated the annual Nelson Mandela International Day, a wonderful sign of recognition of Nelson Mandela’s lifetime dedication to the promotion of human rights, democracy, peace, freedom and equality. On behalf of the international football community and on my personal behalf, I would like to applaud all South Africans and every citizen of the world celebrating on this occasion. “Just over 10 years ago, and a week before Mandela Day, the eyes of the entire world were on South Africa as the first FIFA World Cup organised on the African continent was coming to an end. Congratulations once again on the 10-year anniversary of the historic FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 and all our gratitude to the South African government, SAFA, the many volunteers, and all those who worked hard to make this World Cup a great success and wonderful competition,” wrote Infantino. The FIFA President then thanked Dr Jordaan for his commitment to fight against the scourge of racism in the sport. “Allow me on the same occasion to thank you for your two recent letters, which caught my full attention, and to commend your efforts to combat racism and restate our firm commitment to the fight against racism and any form of discrimination and violence. “FIFA, as you know, had repeatedly expressed itself to be resolutely against racism and discrimination of any kind and recently strengthened its own disciplinary rules with a view to helping to eradicate such behaviour. It has also promoted many anti-racism campaigns, which frequently carry the anti-racism message at matches organised under its own auspices. Please be ensured that we are determined to do all we can to help eradicate these ills from football and the wider world, and we count on each and every one of you for this. “We are both convinced, dear President, dear Danny (Jordaan), that together we can contribute to building a better society on the African continent and in the world by using the unique power of football,” concluded Infantino’s letter.
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