News and Information

Blatter to receive SA honour
January 11, 2005
South Africa will hand Fifa president Sepp Blatter a prestigious national honour when he visits the country this week.
President Thabo Mbeki will award Blatter the Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo, named after former ANC president Oliver Tambo.

"The award will be given to Blatter on behalf of Fifa for their fight against apartheid," said presidential spokesman Bheki Khumalo.

Other recipients of the award include United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan, US civil rights leader Martin Luther King and Kwame Nkrumah, the first prime minister of Ghana.

Blatter arrives in Johannesburg on Wednesday and will meet with the chief executive of the South African Football Association Danny (Safa) Jordaan.

He will then go to Pretoria for a meeting with government officials and to receive the award.

Jordaan said while questions surrounding the hosting of the 2010 World Cup were important, he believed Blatter would be concentrating on the successful presentation of the 2006 event first.

"Because 2010 will be Africa's first World Cup, there are questions about the hosting of it - questions from the continent itself," said Jordaan.

"He [Blatter] will want to know what is happening, how different the 2010 event will be, and so on."

The weekly Sunday Times reported last month that Fifa and Safa had clashed over the timing of the appointment of the local organising committee's chief executive.

The South Africans want the appointment to be made before the end of February while Blatter prefers it to be made after Safa's congress in September.


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