Fans will be asked to applaud Nelson Mandela before kickoff at all eight Club World Cup matches in Morocco this month.
FIFA says spectators will be asked ”to stand together in unity to applaud and re-transmit Mandela’s message of hope and love across the world.”
What FIFA is calling a ”Madiba Moment” will begin when Raja Casablanca plays Auckland City to open the seven-team tournament on Wednesday in Agadir. The final is Dec. 21 in Marrakech. The Club World Cup is being played in Africa for the first time.
Mandela helped South Africa become the continent’s first host of the World Cup in 2010. The anti-apartheid leader and former South African president died last week at 95. After allowing a cup final to go ahead over the weekend as a tribute, South Africa’s football league says it is now postponing all games until after Mandela’s funeral, in some cases to allow stadiums to be used for memorial services.
Former South African President Mandela died Thursday and will be buried near his rural Eastern Cape home on Sunday. A huge memorial service will also be held for the anti-apartheid leader at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday, the stadium that hosted the 2010 World Cup final.
The Premier Soccer League, which controls South Africa’s top three tiers, says games will resume from next Monday.