Mandela 'pressured' to attend final

11 July 2010 10:31

The grandson of Nelson Mandela has claimed FIFA have put "extreme pressure" on the former South African president to attend tonight's World Cup final.

Mandla Mandela also said the world governing body did not "understand the family's traditions and customs". Mandela's great granddaughter Zenani Mandela died in a car accident on the eve of the tournament and Mandla Mandela explained the family should be left alone to mourn her loss.

"The family has really taken a step back from a lot of activities and we've been mourning the loss of Zenani," Mandla Mandela told BBC Radio Five Live. "So we've come under extreme pressure from FIFA requiring and wishing that my grandfather be at the final."

He added: "But I think that decision will solemnly lie with him, how he wakes up today, how he feels, what his medical team says, but as well his family.

"They (FIFA) said that (president) Sepp Blatter wished that my grandfather comes out to the final.

"I think people ought to just understand the family's traditions and customs and understand we've had a loss in the family and we are in mourning and that for me would be enough reason to leave the family to be for now.

"Their focus is having this world icon in the stadium, yet not really paying attention to our customs and traditions as a people and as a family."

Source: PA