Today marks Madiba’s 89th birthday and starts a week of festivities, including the soccer match dubbed “90 minutes for Mandela” featuring greats Pele and Samuel Eto’o and the launch of a humanitarian campaign.
Guests at the launch include Presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, and ex-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. British entrepreneur Richard Branson and musician Peter Gabriel are also expected to attend.
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Sepp Blatter is said to be conferring honorary FIFA membership Makana FA, the soccer club political prisoners started during their confinement on Robben Island.
“During the dark years of our incarceration, the association drew together all the prisoners on the island around the beautiful game of soccer.
“In this way it helped uphold the values of tolerance, of inclusiveness and reconciliation, and of non-racialism and peace that are still dear to all of us today,” he added.