No word still on Mandela's presence during World Cup final

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Johannesburg, Jul 5 (ANI): Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela's presence at the final on July 11 at Soccer City is uncertain, according to World Cup organizers.

The 91-year-old South African leader had been expected to attend part of the opening game on June 11 in Johannesburg, but withdrew after his great granddaughter was killed in a car crash that morning.

Many are now hoping South Africa's first black president will make it to the final, Sports24 reports.

Mandela was prominent at the 1995 Rugby World Cup, but the 91-year-old former president has kept a low profile during the month long football equivalent.

Organizing committee spokesman Rich Mkhondo said on Sunday that Mandela has "an open invitation to attend any matches he wants to attend ... If he comes, we will be very happy. If he does not, we will understand."

Mandela, who turns 92 a week after the final, has curtailed his public appearances in recent years, spending most of his time at home with family.

Mandela had campaigned vigorously for South Africa to be granted the right to host the World Cup. (ANI)

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