Nelson Mandela with the official FIFA World Cup Trophy
May 14, 2010 – In December 2009, after South Africa was awarded the opportunity to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, Nelson Mandela explained what winning the bid means to South Africa in a message read out at the FIFA World Cup Draw in Cape Town on December 4, 2009.
“Sport has the power to inspire and unite people. In Africa soccer enjoys great popularity and has a particular place in the hearts of people. This is why it is so important that the FIFA World Cup will, for the first time ever, be hosted on the African continent in 2010. We feel privileged and humbled that South Africa has been given the singular honour of being the African host country. We must strive for excellence in our hosting of the World Cup while at the same time ensuring that the event leaves a lasting benefit to all our people.
The people of Africa learned the lessons of patience and endurance in their long struggles for freedom.
May the rewards brought by the FIFA World Cup prove that the long wait for its arrival on African soil has been worth it.
Ke Nako. It’s time.
I thank you.”