Nelson Mandela: Friend of soccer who used the power of sport to change a nation

mandelacupIt seems somehow apt that on the eve of the 2014 World Cup draw that the man who did much to bring the preceding one to his homeland has died at the age of 95.

Mandela, as was pointed out in this eloquent column, understood the positive influence of sport on wider society:

“Sport,” he said, “has the power to change the world. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.”

Much, it should be said, as Mandela did himself.

RIP, Madiba.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at Cheers!