Joseph S. Blatter has this evening become the latest high-profile figure to add his handprints to the Mandela Legacy Canvas in Cape Town. Accepting an invitation from the Mother City's Executive Mayor, Dan Plato, the FIFA President joined the likes of singer R Kelly, Prince Albert of Monaco and NFL star Reggie Bush in this symbolic show of support for Cape Town's Madiba Legacy Project.
The project, which is aimed at honouring Nelson Mandela and his legacy of 'offering peace, and not hatred or revenge', is a call to people in South Africa and around the globe to change the world for the better by participating in volunteer projects or pledging time to charitable causes. In seeking 67 'famous handprints' for the canvas – which will be auctioned to raise funds for the Nelson Mandela Foundation – Cape Town is recognising that Madiba, who turns 92 on 18 July, has been making an imprint on the world for 67 years.
After adding to this unique canvas, the FIFA President spoke of feeling privileged at being invited to support such an admirable project in a place of such historical significance. "I am deeply honoured to be present in this building, which is so full of history," he said. "And I can only fully agree with Nelson Mandela's words that this World Cup can unite people, change the world and lay the foundation for a better future."
As part of the event, the FIFA President also declared his commitment to Mandela’s legacy by signing a scroll that will be framed and displayed for visitors to Cape Town's City Hall. There was a poignant moment too as Blatter was invited to switch on the light at the City Hall Balcony, where Madiba delivered his first speech following his release from prison.