Nelson Mandela: Premier League confirm a minute's applause will be held before every match this weekend in a mark of respect to the former South African President

The tribute will also be replicated at every Football League match while rugby side Saracens will wear black armbands in their Heineken Cup match at Zebre

The Premier League have confirmed that a minute’s applause will be held before every match this weekend in tribute to Nelson Mandela, following the death of the former South African President on Thursday.

Mandela was known as a keen football fan, having been in attendance for the 2010 World Cup final in Johannesburg and keeping a watchful eye over the sport during his 95-years. The first match of the weekend gets underway at Old Trafford, with Manchester United taking on Newcastle in Saturday’s early kick-off.

It has also been confirmed that a minute’s applause will be held before every Football League clash and FA Cup second-round match, while Aviva Premiership leaders Saracens will wear black armbands for their Heineken Cup match against Zebre in Parma.

The Allianz Park outfit have strong ties with South Africa, given that the chief-executive Edward Griffiths hails from the African country, while they have also attempted to play one of their 2012 European matches in Cape Town.

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