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Pics and bits; World Cup trophy lands in 254

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Traditional dancers welcome the FIFA World Cup at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport during its tour of Kenya on February 26, 2018- PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 26- At about 11:02am, the aircraft carrying the most coveted trophy in the world of football, the 18-carat, 6.1kg FIFA World Cup trophy touched down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi from Addis Ababa Ethiopia.

The plane carrying the FIFA World Cup trophy taxies at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as it arrived for its two-day tour of Kenya on February 26, 2018- PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Welcomed by a ceremonial water canon treatment, accorded to aircraft only on special occasions, the trophy was received by a host of dignitaries led by three Cabinet Secretaries; Sports’ Rashid Echesa, Tourism’s Najib Balala as well as Youth and Gender’s Margaret Kobia.

Government officials among others Tourism CS Najib Balala, Gender and Youth’s Margaret Kobia Sports’ Rashid Echesa and his PS Kirimi Kaberia take selfies on the plane ferrying the World Cup during its tour of Kenya on February 26, 2018- PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

So special is this trophy that no matter how high ranking you are in the government, your fingerprints will never get close to the trophy. Not even the world’s best players, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are allowed to touch it.

Tourism CS Najib Balala and his Sports’ counterpart Rashid Echesa pose with the FIFA World Cup during its tour of Kenya on February 26, 2018- PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

The prestige of laying hands on the trophy is only left to sitting Heads of State and precious winners. Kenya having never even come close to playing in the event, only President Uhuru Kenyatta was allowed to lay his hands on the prestigious piece of silverware.

Security officers carry in the FIFA World Cup trophy into State House during its tour of Kenya on February 26, 2018- PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

After a short ceremony at the airport, the trophy headed to the House on the Hill where despite a delay of close to three hours, the ceremony got underway in a bit of glitz.

A seven-a-side exhibition game pitting Bunge FC against a combined team from the Copa Coca-Cola tournament provided the appetizer to the greater event, the game ending in a 1-1 draw.

Elgeyo Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen vies for the ball with a player from the Copa Coca-Cola combined team during an exhibition match at State House when the FIFA World Cup trophy was hosted by the President on February 26, 2018- PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Elgeyo Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen might have scored Bunge’s lone goal, but it was Kieni legislator Kanini Kega who stole the show.

Kega was the team’s goalkeeper and made several superb saves, including a penalty to ensure the waheshimiwas were not embarrassed by the budding stars.

President Uhuru Kenyatta exchanges pleasantries with players from the Copa Coca-Cola combined team during an exhibition match at State House against Bunge FC when the FIFA World Cup trophy was hosted by the President on February 26, 2018- PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Others who were part of the team included Machakos’ Victor Munyaka, Webuye West MP Dan Wanyama who is a former national team volleyball player as well as Football Kenya Federation National Executive member David Gikaria, also the Nakuru town East MP.

The President got the opportunity to interact with the trophy even as he urged Kenya’s Harambee Stars to qualify for the event held once in four years.

President Uhuru Kenyatta admires the FIFA World Cup trophy when it was hosted at State House on February 26, 2018- PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Pupils from across several primary schools who had attended the event also got the opportunity to have photo-ops with the Head of State, a once in a while opportunity.

On this day, the President, clad in a simple Coca-Cola branded tee-shirt was eased out and mingled freely with the crowd.

President Uhuru Kenyatta takes a penalty against Harambee Stars goalkeeper Patrick Matasi during the FIFA World Cup trophy hosting ceremony at State House on February 26, 2018- PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

There were some more moments of cheer when the President took, and scored, a penalty against Harambee Stars’ CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup winning keeper Patrick Matasi.

Matasi saved three penalties during the win against Zanzibar last December but on this occasion, he failed to land in a save against the country’s Commander in Chief.

President Kenyatta was definitely pleased with his achievement and almost fell into doing a ‘dab celebration’… or probably trying a #WakandaForever kinda thing.

President Uhuru Kenyatta shares a joke with Football Kenya Federation boss Nick Mwendwa during the FIFA World Cup trophy hosting ceremony at State House on February 26, 2018- PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

The trophy will now be hosted for a public viewing ceremony at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre on Tuesday before heading to Maputo, Mozambique in the evening.

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