11 Jun 2010

South Africa football captain hopes for Mandela inspiration

12:42 pm on 11 June 2010

D-day has arrived for World Cup hosts South Africa, who hope months of intense preparation can lead to a win over Mexico in tonight's opening football World Cup match.

South Africa are ranked 83rd in the world, the second-lowest ranked team at the tournament behind 105th-ranked North Korea, while Mexico are ranked 17th.

The former South African president Nelson Mandela is expected to be among a sell-out 90,000 strong crowd at Soccer City stadium in Soweto.

The South African captain Aaron Mokoena saw how Mandela inspired the Springboks to victory in the 1995 rugby World Cup and says his presence will have the same impact on the football team.