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South Africa hope for Mandela inspiration

Source ITN

Updated on 25 June 2009

Nelson Mandela has wished the South African football team well ahead of their Confederations Cup Semi-final against Brazil.

Mandela and the squad wore "Mandela Day" t-shirts named for the day which will be launched on his 91st birthday on 18 July and dedicated to celebrating the life and legacy of the former President.

Captain Aaron Mokoena presented Mandela with a team shirt with his name and the number 91, in honour of his next birthday.

Bafana Bafana, the nickname for the team, made it into the Confederations Cup semi-finals despite a 2-0 loss to Spain last Thursday and will be going up against Brazil, the current champions, in Bloemfontein.

The winner will face the USA in the final on Sunday after their shock 2-0 win over European Champions Spain, who had previously been unbeaten in 35 games.

Mokoena has been quoted as saying South Africa will need the "spirit of '96", when the country became the African champions, to beat Brazil.

© Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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