English football to honour Nelson Mandela this weekend

Nelson Mandela meets David Beckham and the rest of the England squad in 2003

English football will pay tribute to Nelson Mandela ahead of this weekend's matches.

The Premier League and the Football League have asked their clubs to hold a minute's applause before all games to honour Mandela, who died on Thursday at the age of 95.

Tributes from the world of sport have been pouring in for Mandela who used sport as a way of uniting his country after years of racial segregation in South Africa.

The Premier League confirmed: "This weekend's matches will be preceded by a minute's applause to mark the life and achievements of Nelson Mandela."

Football League chief executive, Shaun Harvey, said: "Nelson Mandela was an inspiration to millions and his determination, courage and forgiveness marked him out as a truly great man.

"We are delighted to give clubs and their supporters the opportunity to pay their own tributes to Nelson Mandela and recognise his extraordinary legacy."

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who described Mandela as a "dear friend", announced there would be a minute's silence as a mark of respect ahead of the next round of international matches.

In Australia, England and Australia's cricketers marked the death of Mandela by observing a minute's silence and wearing black armbands on day two of the second Test in Adelaide.

South African golfing legend Gary Player led the tributes ahead of the Nedbank Challenge where players and fans fell silent on a sombre morning in Sun City.

Four-time major champion Ernie Els summed up the feeling: "It's a very sad day for South Africa and the world. We have lost one of the iconic leaders of our time. You cannot say anything bad about the man."