NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 29 – The FIFA World Cup Trophy has received a rousing welcome from over 15 heads of state and over 70,000 football fans as it makes its journey through Africa.Liberia’s President, Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson is the first woman in the world touch to touch the real, solid-gold FIFA World Cup, courtesy of the tour that has been developed through an exclusive partnership between Coca-Cola and FIFA.
To date, the trophy has been to 25 countries including Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Cape Verde, Mali, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Guinea and Ghana after it begun its 70-day tour in Egypt on 21st September 2009.
The epic journey has given thousands of fans an opportunity see and have a souvenir photo of them taken with the real, solid-gold FIFA World Cup Trophy, view a special 3-D movie showcasing memorable moments of the FIFA World Cup and participate in interactive displays and entertainment.
On 31st October, the real, solid-gold FIFA World Cup TM trophy will make its entry into East and Central Africa through Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, following a successful tour of West Africa that will end in Gabon this Friday.
On December 3, 2009, the first leg of the tour draws to a close in Cape Town, South Africa, near the time of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals draw. The second part of the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola will see the trophy visit additional countries across the globe from January to April 2010.
This year’s trophy tour is the longest ever global tour, with FIFA and Coca-Cola taking the real solid-gold trophy to 86 countries during a 225-day journey which will allow thousands of fans to enjoy a rare close-up view of the authentic FIFA World Cup Trophy.
The trophy will travel 134,017 kilometres (83,274 miles) and visit every nation in Africa to give African fans the once-in-a-lifetime experience of having their picture taken with the trophy. In 2006, the tour visited 31 cities in 29 countries, covering 102,570 kilometres (63,734 miles) with millions of fans around the world enjoying the chance to have a closer look at football’s most famous prize.
The trophy is awarded to the winning nation at each tournament. The iconic trophy measures 36.8 centimeters (14.5 inches) high, weighs in at 6,175 grams (13.61 pounds) and is made of solid, 18-carat gold.