Football match marks Mandela 89th
Some of the world’s best ever football players, including Pele and Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o, have played in a match to mark Nelson Mandela’s 89th birthday.
The "90 Minutes for Mandela", played in Cape Town between Africa and the Rest of the World, ended in a 3-3 draw.
The game also helped raise money for the fight against HIV/Aids.
Earlier, the football’s world governing body, Fifa, conferred honorary membership on the Makana FA – a league set up by prisoners on Robben Island.
Mr Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison on the island, before becoming South Africa’s first black president in 1994.
The birthday of one of the world’s most respected political leaders is a major national event every year in South Africa.
‘Council of elders’
Mr Mandela, fondly known by his clan name Madiba, spent the first part of his birthday at home with friends and relatives.
Former US President Jimmy Carter and UN chief Kofi Annan joined the veteran anti-apartheid campaigner to launch a global "council of elders" to try to find solutions to "some of the world’s toughest problems" such as Aids, poverty and conflict.
"They don’t have careers to build, elections to win and constituencies to please," Mr Mandela said of the group, known as The Elders.
Later, Mr Mandela watched on television the celebrity football match between the two celebrity teams at Cape Town’s Newlands Stadium.
The World XI, with past and present international stars aged from the mid-20s to 66, scored the first goal through Chilean Ivan Zamorano in the sixth minute.
There were three further goals from Ghana’s Abedi Pele, Egypt’s Hossam Hassan and the former Holland striker, Ruud Gullit, before half-time.
The game finished 3-3 after two second-half goals from Hassan and Spain’s Julen Guerrero.
In the morning, the players gathered for a ceremony on the Makana FA’s pitch on Robben Island, where they joined some of Mandela’s former fellow prisoners to kick a symbolic 89 goals against racism.
Mr Mandela used to watch the Makana games from his cell window, until the authorities built a wall to stop him seeing the matches, according to the Associated Press.
"During the dark years of our incarceration, the association drew together all the prisoners on the island around the beautiful game of soccer," Mr Mandela said on Tuesday.
"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 was presented with a Fifa football shirt with the number 89.
Mr Mandela was imprisoned for leading the struggle against white minority rule in South Africa.
After leading the African National Congress to victory in the country’s first democratic elections in 1994, he stood down after a single term as president.
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