'He was one of the greatest men of any generation'

Thursday 05 Dec 2013
The former South Africa president Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday

The FA is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Nelson Mandela.

Everyone in football knew Nelson Mandela to be a man who understood the virtues of sport and England were proud and privileged to have taken part in the 2010 World Cup in his country, South Africa.

FA Chairman Greg Dyke, who himself met Mandela, said: "Nelson Mandela had that amazing ability to live through real injustice.

"He was one of the greatest men of any generation. Partly because of what he achieved but more so for his ability to forgive."

In 2003 a delegation of England players - including David Beckham, Michael Owen and Rio Ferdinand - went to meet Nelson Mandela, prior to playing in Durban.

By FA Staff