James Magayi @magayijim
Football enthusiasts in the country have a rendezvous with sports most coveted trophy at Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) on February 27 when the FIFA World Cup trophy will be on display.
It will be the trophy’s third time visit to Kenya having been first brought to the country in 2010 in the lead up to South Africa hosting the premiere football jamboree then in 2014 while on its way to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where the tournament was last staged.
FIFA’s official partner Coca Cola who have organised the global trophy tour since 2006 once again included Kenya in the trophy itinerary as Russia prepares to host the quadrennial event. The trophy will arrive in the country on February 26 from Ethiopia under tight security then taken to President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House.
The solid gold trophy weighing 6.14kg is awarded to winners of FIFA World Cup while remaining in FIFA’s possession. As one of the most recognised sports symbols, the FIFA World Cup Trophy can only be touched and held by a very select group of people that includes former World Cup winners and Head of States.
Because regulations state that the trophy shall remain in FIFA’s possession and cannot be won outright, the winning team only retains the authentic trophy temporarily and is then permanently awarded a replica, the FIFA World Cup Winners Trophy which is gold plated, rather than solid gold but engraved with year, host country and winner.
The trophy is highly guarded having been previously stolen in 1966 in London, United Kingdom. Two hawk-eyed guards are ever with the trophy and proximity to it is strictly limited.