Jordaan: Tutu described himself as ‘reserve Mandela’ in SA’s 2010 World Cup bid
SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan says Archbishop Desmond Tutu “played a huge role in the country winning the right to host the 2010 World Cup”.
Jordaan said Tutu, who died aged 90 last Sunday and was laid to rest in a state funeral in Cape Town on Saturday, would jokingly refer to himself as SA’s “reserve Mandela” in the bid to host the world’s most-watched sporting event.
Tutu and former president Nelson Mandela were key figures convincing global leaders and football leaders that SA was a safe destination with the infrastructure capable of absorbing a football World Cup.
“SA football prepares to bid farewell to Archbishop Desmond Tutu this weekend, one of its biggest supporters and the self-deprecating 'reserve Mandela’ who played a huge role in the country winning the right to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup,” Jordaan said in a statement.
“Archbishop Tutu always availed himself to fight for SA’s cause in hosting Africa’s first World Cup and was in Zurich in 2004 for SA’s final bid presentation to Fifa.
“After a slick, professional presentation, he jokingly said, pointing to the heavens, that ‘there must be something wrong upstairs’ if SA was not awarded the right to host the 2010 World Cup.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu addresses the crowd at the pre-2010 World Cup Celebration Concert at Orlando Stadium on June 10 2010.
“When Nelson Mandela was unable to join the 2010 bid committee for a crucial trip to sway the Fifa executive committee members in the Caribbean, we called on Archbishop Tutu — who was in New York — to join us, and he accepted without hesitation.
“He joked that he was the ‘substitute for Madiba’ and we said, ‘Yes, in football we have substitutions and we are very happy to be able to call you up’.
“He loved being there supporting us and understood that both he and Madiba played an instrumental role and that there was no difference between them.
“Archbishop Tutu was a people’s person. People energised him. Wherever he went, he played an important role in us convincing people of SA’s unique qualities.
“He generated a special feeling, a special bond with ordinary people, and that is what helped us.
“He stole the show on the eve of the 2010 World Cup at the Celebration Concert at Orlando Stadium, with his electrifying joy and excitement, echoing all our feelings as he said, ‘It’s unbelievable! I’m dreaming man, I’m dreaming! Wake me up! What a lovely dream!’.
“As he bid the world a warm welcome to the cradle of humanity and famously proclaimed that ‘we are all Africans’, we now fondly bid him farewell as he completes his journey.
“Thank you for helping us dare to dream Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu, We love you, we appreciate you ... and we will miss you.”
Jordaan was the 2010 World Cup bid committee and local organising committee CEO.
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