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Nelson Mandela Under 'Extreme Pressure' From FIFA To Attend World Cup Final

Nelson Mandela Under 'Extreme Pressure' From FIFA To Attend World Cup Final

Mandela's grandson says governing body are putting on pressure for attendance...

Nelson Mandela's grandson says the former South African president has been put under 'extreme pressure' by FIFA to attend Sunday's World Cup final.

Mandla Mandela has expressed his concern over the health of his grandfather, stating that such an appearance would be 'strenuous' for a man who turns 92 next week.

Mandela, who was expected to attend the opening ceremory in Johannesburg, was unable to do so following the death of his great-granddaughter in a car crash the night before the tournament began.

Speaking to the BBC, Mandla Mandela said: "We've come under extreme pressure from FIFA requiring and wishing that my grandfather be at the final.

"I think people ought to just understand the family's traditions and customs and understand we've had a loss in the family and we are in mourning.

"But I think that the decision will solemnly lie with him, as how he wakes up today, how he feels, and what his medical team says.

"My grandfather is 92 years old next week, this is an evening game; he's expected to hand over the trophy after the game which could be anything from 2230 to 2300 and it will be quite strenuous on his part."

The final is set to take place on Sunday night, with the Netherlands taking on Spain in Johannesburg.

Despite coming under criticism for the poor quality of football on show in many matches, the tournament has been regarded as a great success for South Africa in terms of public relations.

FIFA believe that the appearance of Mandela would be the perfect end to the tournament and would provide a great boost for not just South Africa, but the whole of Africa as a continent.

However, Mandela remains in frail health and is still in mourning following the death of his great-granddaughter Zanani Mandela, 13.

On Thursday, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said: "We cannot foresee exactly what will happen, but if [Nelson Mandela] can come to the stadium it will be good.

"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."

A FIFA spokesman has stated that the invitation to Nelson Mandela is open, but any announcement, should there be one, on whether or not he will attend the final will come from the Mandela family or the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Who will come out on top? Check out Castrol Football's 2010 World Cup Match Predictor.
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