OUR nation and the South African football community is in deep mourning today following the passing of the Father of our Nation, the Honourable Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
Like every South African and most of the world, the football community will fondly remember everything that is good about this proud hero of our struggle against everything that divided this nation.
Our history as a Football Association mirrors the history of our nation. We were divided into four disparate racial groupings but were inspired by his magnanimity, his inspiration that united our nation and his example that inspired our football players on the field of play.
From Ruud Gullit to Lucas Radebe, to Jomo Sono, to Kaizer Motaung, our football heroes remain inspired by his shining example.
“Madiba was responsible for lifting the spirits of our football nation from the talks to unite the Association to victory at the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations. He served as the catalyst in our bid for the 2010 FIFA World Cup” said SAFA President, Dr Danny Jordaan.
Whilst we had been watching Madiba’s deteriorating health over the last year we are all still shocked by his passing which will always remain untimely as our nation still has much to achieve. However, his encouragement to our players on the field of play will forever be etched in our collective memories.
We call on the entire football community of our nation to observe a moment of silence before every match they play in honour of this hero who inspired our nation to achieve in our sport and to work to emulate his example.
The National Executive Committee of the Association extends, on behalf of the football community in the country, its heartfelt condolences to the family of Madiba.-www.safa.net