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Blatter embarrassed by SA government error

FIFA president Sepp Blatter was left embarrassed after receiving an award from the South African government with an unwanted nickname, seemingly taken from his altered Wikipedia entry.

Blatter, 74, was announced on the South African presidency's website as "Joseph Sepp Bellend Blatter" after picking up the Order of The Companions of O R Tambo award for his contribution towards the 2010 World Cup.

A saboteur is believed to have altered his profile on Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia, before it was copied across to the official site. Both websites have since been amended. The award is one of the country's highest distinctions and is given to foreign nationals (Heads of State and Government) and other foreign dignitaries for ''friendship shown to South Africa''. It is also presented for contributions to ''peace, co-operation and active expression of solidarity and support''.

Announcing the award at a gala dinner on Monday, South African president Jacob Zuma said: "After FIFA awarded us the opportunity to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup on 15 May 2004, we embraced the tasks that you entrusted to us, working together as a nation. The hosting of the 2010 World Cup has helped us consolidate the gains we achieved after attaining freedom in 1994."

In his acceptance speech, Blatter said: "I just have to express my thanks but my emotions are now overcoming my voice. I'm touched by this honour. I would like to thank President Zuma and all the people of South Africa for this gesture. I take it for FIFA, the football family and my own family."


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