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Johannesburg - He might not arrive for the momentous World Cup opener at Soccer City on Friday armed with a vuvuzela - but Swiss-born Sepp Blatter will be yodelling for Bafana Bafana in the do-or-die clash against Mexico.
Prefacing his remarks at a recent South African Football Associaition function with the comment "I know that as the FIFA president I am supposed to be neutral," he then implored Bafana to "go and get them".
Asked for his views on the provocative sentiment, Luis Cabrera, the Mexican ambassador in South Africa, demonstrated a greater deal of diplomacy and said "I did not hear the remark personally, so I would prefer not to comment."
But Mexican followers in what will reputably be a 15 000-strong invading support base, were generally incensed by Blatter's remark.
"Mr Blatter might have his own reasons for supporting South Africa in the World Cup," said Luis Suarez, who hails from Los Angeles, "but as the FIFA president he should have kept his sentiments to himself."
And Mexico City-based Fernando Gomez posed the question: "Has Blatter forgotten that Mexico are a member of FIFA as well?"
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