Mandela makes brief appearance at FIFA World Cup final ceremony

08:13, July 12, 2010      

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South Africa's iconic former president Nelson Mandela and his wife made a brief appearance at Soccer City stadium for the closing ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World Cup on Sunday night.

Mandela, warmly dressed in a black overcoat, gloves and fur hat, waved and smiled as he was greeted with a standing ovation from the 95,000-strong crowd.

The temperature in Johannesburg was expected to reach 0 degrees Celsius later on Sunday night. Mandela did not stay long.

Spain were due to play the Netherlands in the final.

There had been weeks of speculation over whether Mandela would put in appearance after the death of his great granddaughter Zenani on the day of the World Cup opening ceremony in a car accident on June 11.

Mandela was South Africa's first democratically elected president from 1994-1999, after spending 27 years in jail for activities against the former apartheid government of South Africa.

Source: Xinhua

Special Report: World Cup 2010


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