Event Details:

  • Date: - -
  • Venue: Embassy
  • Register


At the invitation of Mr José Manuel Constantino, Chair of the Portuguese Olympic Committee (POC), Ambassador Keitumetse Matthews was the keynote speaker at the conference on The Role of Sports in the Promotion of Peace and the Fight against Ethnic Discrimination, held on 6 April 2015 to coincide with the United Nations’ International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

The conference was preceded by the unveiling ceremony of a plaque in honour of the late President Nelson Mandela at the POC headquarters.  The plaque sports the following Nelson Mandela quote in the Portuguese language: 

“Sport has the power to change the world – it has the power to inspire - it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.”

The theme of the keynote address was “Sport as a tool for reconciliation and nation building” using the mega sports events in South Africa, starting with the 1995 Rugby World Cup, the Africa Cup of Nations, the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup and the Blue Bulls’ in Soweto, as examples of the implementation of the South African government’s sport policy and how it was embraced by the people of South Africa. The role played by the late President Nelson Mandela was the core of the presentation.


The Embassy wishes to thank the Portuguese Olympic Committee for the special place of honour it has granted Nelson Mandela and his inspirational words at the POC Headquarters!