FIFA World Cup Trophy Lands in Kenya For The Third Time #ReadyFor

“Sport can create hope, where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination,” Nelson Mandela.

Football has always had a strong unifying power across culture, religion & politics. Getting a chance to partake in a piece of football history & share the passion for the sport is just but one of the reasons why we have the World Cup Trophy Tour.

Personalities of people from all walks of life are inclined to the unique and magnificent power of sports in particular football and it’s amazing how for just a brief moment, the world stops to focus on how memorable and beautiful the game is.

Yesterday morning, the FIFA World Cup trophy arrived in Kenya for the third time on its Africa tour. The World Cup trophy tour is an initiative by FIFA and the Coca-Cola company and is in preparation for the World Cup which will take place in June 2018 and will be hosted by Russia.

The trophy landed from Ethiopia accompanied by FIFA officials and was received by the Minister for Tourism, Najib Balala and Minister for Sports Rashid Echesa among other Kenyan officials and fans will get a chance to view the trophy today at the K.I.C.C from 9 am. Entrance is only two CoCa-Cola bottles which will be sold at the gate.

The world prestigious soccer trophy which is made of 18 karat pure Gold with malachite base, and stands 36.8 centimeters high and weighs 6.1 kilograms touched down for the third time in the country. The Sh1billion gold trophy is landing in Kenya made a similar stop in 2010 ahead of the World Cup tournaments in South Africa and in 2013 before the games in Brazil.

This year’s tour traverses across 91 cities, in 51 countries with all the six continents covered and will span more than 92,000 miles (126,000KM). This year’s tour kicked off on 23rdJanuary 2018 in Colombo, Sri Lanka and will end on May 1st in Vladivostok, Russia. From Nairobi, the trophy tour will head to Mozambique.

According to FIFA guidelines, only a sitting head of state and World Cup winners are allowed to touch the trophy. Kenya has never won the trophy let alone participated in the World Cup finals, meaning no individual bar President Kenyatta can touch the treasured jewel.

Nigeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal and Egypt will represent Africa in this year’s tournament in Russia.

A Challenge To Kenya

The arrival of the trophy presents yet another challenge to the country, asking why we still haven’t qualified to represent Africa in the FIFA World Cup Tournament.
One of the key areas we should focus our efforts is by growing our football from the ground up and have coherent structures that support our immense local talent.

Speaking at State House yesterday, President Uhuru Kenyatta said: “Today is a day for us to be proud; today is a day for us to remember that we still have the chance to one day enter that great field and participate in a World Cup tournament.”

Nick Mwendwa, President of the Football Kenya Federation was anchored on a promise to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and also added his voice to the ambition of making it into the prestigious tournament especially with FIFA increasing the number of participating nations to 48 from 2022.

“It is one of our greatest ambitions as a federation that we set targets to qualify for the World Cup. 2022 and 2026 is possible and that is why we have started investing in the younger generation and training of trainers,” Mwendwa said.

We can only hope that even as we get up close and personal with the trophy today, we streamline structures and focus on our talent to qualify for the next World Cup!

 

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