Home arrow SA Teaching the World arrow Mbeki awarded CAF's Order of Merit

Mbeki awarded CAF's Order of Merit

Monday, 10 September 2007
President Thabo Mbeki was honoured by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) with an Order of Merit yesterday for his contribution to football on the continent.

CAF President Issa Hayatou said the award was well deserved by Mbeki for his role in unifying soccer, and CAF. "This is our way of paying tribute to you for what you have done," he said.

The event also marked the 50th anniversary of CAF, which was founded in 1957 in Khartoum, Sudan. South Africa was one of four founding members, along with Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan.

President Mbeki dedicated the award he received to the two young soccer players who died in road accidents last week.

Accepting the honour from Hayatou, Mbeki said he was very proud to receive the award. "We should accept this award on behalf of two young Africans who died in our country -- Gift Leremi who died in a car accident and Fernando Matola, a Mozambican who played in South Africa, who died with his wife and children as they returned to Mozambique. I think this is an important moment to pay a tribute to them," Mbeki said.

Turning to the 2010 Fifa World Cup, Mbeki said the country was ready to present a successful tournament. "We will leave no stone unturned to host a tournament that meets the expectations of billions of football fans around the world," Mbeki said.

Sapa

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