The global tour which is being facilitated by Coco Cola and FIFA is expected to cover some 149,000 Kilometers and 89 countries during a journey that in total will last nine months.
At the Robert Bradshaw International Airport to welcome the officials here for the event were the country’s Governor General, Sir Edmund Lawrence and Prime Minister, Dr. Denzil Douglas, along with the President of the St. Kitts and Nevis Football Association, Anthony Johnson and the CEO of the local bottlers of coke, Mr. Ancel Soohkai, of the St. Kitts Bottling Company.
One official described the occasion as a very special day for St. Kitts and Nevis, indicating that the country was very excited to receive the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coco Cola.
It was said that this is a unique occasion for Kittitians and Nevisians to take in a piece of football history and share with each other, the passion for the sport.
This is the third time that this, the original trophy of FIFA World Cup, is travelling the world. The first such outing was in 2006 and then again in 2010. The tour is viewed as an opportunity to share the passion that fans around the world have with football and it also allows nationals to see football’s most coveted prize.
The welcome ceremony at the airport was addressed by the Prime Minister and the local Coke representative along with the SKNFA President and Minister of Sport. The Master of Ceremony for the airport arrival was Mr. Val Henry, a member of the local organizing committee.
Later in the day, hundreds of young footballers and members of the public gathered at the Silver Jubilee Stadium in Bird Rock, where a football festival and grassroots program were hosted as fans took turn having their photos taken with the trophy.
An official Gala Ceremony was also staged at the St. Kitts Marriott, where the trophy was officially unveiled. Given the very special nature of the event and the trophy, however, only the Governor General was allowed to actually hold the trophy in his hands. All other dignitaries, officials and members of the public had to settle for a photo, standing next to the trophy.
The tour arrived here from Antigua and when the officials depart on Monday 21st October, their next stop will be St. Lucia.