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Nelson Mandela likely to be at World Cup opening ceremony

JOHANNESBURG — Nelson Mandela’s grandson says the 91-year-old former South African president will likely greet fans and players at the opening of the World Cup on Friday.

Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela says Tuesday that Mandela will probably be on hand for 10 to 15 minutes before Friday’s match, then will watch the rest of the game from his home.

Mandela was president from 1994-1999 after emerging from 27 years in prison under the former government’s apartheid system. He attended the 1995 Rugby World Cup final, and any possible appearance at the soccer event would energize the African nation.

The World Cup is being held in Africa for the first time, and Mandela was a key factor in South Africa’s winning bid.

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