17 December 2013

South Africa: Ivan Gazidis - Arsenal's Mandela Connection


Arsenal's CEO, Ivan Gazidis, was born in apartheid-era South Africa and his dad spent two years in prison for his association with the ANC. It's another small reminder of how far South Africa's influence stretches and just how great this country's potential is.

Over the course of the last 12 days or so, everyone who is anyone who has some sort of connection to South Africa has spoken out and shared their story. It's just natural, it happens. When a country, and the world, is grief-stricken, everyone scrambles to try and relate and offer sympathies.

Ivan Gazidis, CEO of Arsenal, is one of those people. Any Arsenal fan worth his or her salt will know that Gazidis was born in South Africa. Regardless of how you feel about him as a businessman or as Arsenal's head honcho, it's a fact South African Arsenal fans like to reiterate because South Africans like to see their own making an impact on the global game.

The story becomes more interesting, though. Costa Gazidis, Ivan's father, was a political prisoner and spent six months in solitary confinement in a jail near Johannesburg. He wasn't even allowed to attend the funeral of...

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