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article imageSpain & Brazil teams give signed shirts to Nelson Mandela

By Anne Sewell     Jul 1, 2013 in Sports
Rio De Janeiro - Autographed commemorative football shirts are to be given to ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela by the Confederations Cup finalists, Spain and Brazil.
FIFA President, Joseph Blatter, Spanish Football Federation president, Angel Maria Villar, and president of the Brazilian football Confederation, José María Marín, took part in a tribute ceremony before the kick off of the Confederations Cup between Spain and Brazil in Rio de Janeiro on June 30.
According to FIFA, at a brief ceremony two t-shirts, signed by the players of both respective teams, were given to Tokyo Sexwale, representative of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and close friend of the Nobel Peace Prize winner.
During the ceremony, Blatter issued a statement directly to Mandela, saying:
"The strength of the world's most popular game which you love so much, football, reaches out to you."
"With this gesture, the football world wants to tell you how much we are thinking about you."
The full speech by Blatter can be viewed in a video here.
Mandela played a major role in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, which was the first time the competition was held on the African continent.
The inscription on the Brazilian shirt, presented by Blatter and Brazilian Football Confederation president Marín read:
"To Mandela, a gift from Brazilian national team and wish you a good recover (sic)."
Confederation Cup teams Spain and Brazil presenting autographed t-shirts to Nelson Mandela.
Confederation Cup teams Spain and Brazil presenting autographed t-shirts to Nelson Mandela.
YouTube
On the Spanish team's shirt, presented by Spanish Football Federation president, Angel Maria Villar, the message was: "Madiba get well soon!"
Confederation Cup teams Spain and Brazil presenting autographed t-shirts to Nelson Mandela.
Confederation Cup teams Spain and Brazil presenting autographed t-shirts to Nelson Mandela.
YouTube
Reportedly Sexwale will present the shirts to Mandela on his return from Brazil.
Brazil thrashed World and European champions Spain 3-0 to win a third straight Confederations Cup title with a dazzling display of football at the Maracanã Stadium.
Stadium screens showed a message of support to Mandela, reading: "Nelson Mandela, the global football community is with you".
Meanwhile, 94-year-old Mandela is still in a critical, if stable, condition in the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria.
Two autographed t-shirts from Confederations Cup players Brazil and Spain are to be gifted to Nelson...
Two autographed t-shirts from Confederations Cup players Brazil and Spain are to be gifted to Nelson Mandela.
YouTube
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