World Cup Trophy to visit SA in December

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Johannesburg - The FIFA World Cup Trophy, the most coveted prize in sport, will arrive in South Africa on 1 December, at the end of the African leg of its global tour.

The trophy has been travelling the world as part of the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola. The tour kicked off on 21 September in Zurich, Switzerland.

FIFA President, Sepp Blatter and the Coca-Cola Company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Muhtar Kent, accompanied the trophy on its first steps of the journey. Its first destination from the FIFA Headquarters was Cairo, Egypt.

By the end of the tour, the trophy would have touched down in 86 countries in 225 days.

The arrival of the trophy in Cape Town will spark off the festivities that precede the 2010 Final Draw. The 36.5cm tall solid gold trophy will be the centrepiece of this event.

This is the first time ever that the trophy will visit all 53 countries on the continent enabling African people to see it up close and to become excited about the reality of the FIFA World Cup tournament being hosted on African soil.

The trophy will arrive in Lesotho on 30 November before flying out in a specially charted plane to Cape Town.

"Tight security will be in place to protect this valuable prize. It is Coca-Cola's objective to ensure that as many people as possible can see the trophy from close range and even be photographed with it," Onwell Msomi, Coca-Cola South Africa's General Manager: 2010 FIFA World Cup Project Office said.

He added that they were proud to be giving fans the rare opportunity to see the official FIFA World Cup Trophy which may only be touched by heads of state and national teams and coaches who have won it.

"For South Africans, this event is an important highlight in the build-up to the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

"There is no turning back now. This is the prize that the captain of the winning team will lift at the end of the final match," said Msomi.

Following the Cape Town Draw, the trophy will continue on the remainder of its whirlwind tour around the world.

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