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By ESPN Staff

FIFA head to scene of Mandela's imprisonment

FIFA's executive committee will hold its next meeting on South Africa's once infamous Robben Island in December 3.

"Holding it on Robben Island is a historic matter," FIFA president Sepp Blatter told a news conference after Tuesday's executive committee meeting in Rio de Janeiro.

Robben Island is where former president Nelson Mandela was held for 18 of the 27 years he was imprisoned by the apartheid regime that ruled a racially segregated South Africa. He was released in 1990 and was president from 1994 to 1999.

Among the issues to be decided at that meeting on the eve of the World Cup draw in Cape Town, will be the seeding for the 2010 finals, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said.

The meeting in Rio was FIFA's first ever in Brazil, who will host the World Cup for the second time in 2014, and first in South America since Buenos Aires in 2001.

"It was time we returned to South America," Blatter added after saying it was only the committee's third meeting on the continent since the 1978 World Cup in Argentina.


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