By: Amjad Mustafa Amin
KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Football fans in Sudan can now have a close look at the world’s most celebrated football prize, the World Cup, when it lands in Khartoum on February 22 and stays through February 23.
This original version of the World Cup, which is kept in the custody of the FIFA in Zurich, is already on a tour of over 50 countries in six of the World’s continents. The Cup has been on the move since 9 December when it first took off from Luzhniki Stadium in Russia, where the captain of the winning team will raise it nine months from now.
The event is sponsored by the food manufacturers DAL Group, which is also the local agent of the soft drinks producer Coca Cola, a major sponsor of the FIFA contests.
Kamal Mahmod, Director of the Group’s Trade Mark, said the idea behind the event is to avail the Sudanese public, the youth in particular, with an opportunity to see the world Cup first hand.
At a press conference, Mahmood said “DAL is the country’s biggest food marketing company by virtue of the high quality foods and drinks it presents, ever guided by its motto’ Better food, For A Better Life.”
He said the International Coca Cola soft drinks producer, is FIFA’s biggest partner after they signed an accord to this effect in 1974 and which will continue through 2030.
He said the Cup had visited London in January 2018 and will cover 50 countries before it lands in Japan on 30 April and then back to Russia in May 2018 to start a regional tour of the host nation.
“The aim of this Coca Cola-sponsored World Cup tour is to avail millions around the World the opportunity to get a close look at the original version of the Cup,” he said.
He said a press conference will be held at Khartoum Airport on Thursday. Five members from the public will also be allowed to take photos with the Cup. These will be selected from Coca Cola bottles buyers through an arrangement to be declared later, he said.
In a statement DAL CEO Eehab Abdellatif said his firm’s hosting of the World Cup tour “gives us satisfaction and pleasure.”
“It is an inspiration for the Sudanese football community and for our country and it is our cherished hope that this historical visit would be an incentive to our national team players to fight for qualifying for the World Cup finals,” he added.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the FIFA and Coca Cola who helped make this dream come true,” he said.
DAL Institutional Communication Manager Fathi Osman considered the visit by the FIFA delegation and the World Cup to Sudan “a great event”, urging the media to communicate the news about the Cup’s visit to the public.
He said stars of the National Team who won the Africa Cup of Nations back in 1970 will attend the occasion.
Osman said the FIFA had devised a “precise security plan” to guard the Cup during its stay in the Sudan, in cooperation with the Sudanese security.
He said DAL would lend more support to the country’s sports and national team.
The trophy stands 36.5 centimeters (14.4 inches) tall and is made of 5 kg (11 lb) of 18 carat (75%) gold, worth approximately US$150,000 in 2017, with a base 13 centimeters (5.1 inches) in diameter containing two layers of malachite. It weighs 6.175 kg (13.6 lb) in total and depicts two human figures holding up the Earth. The trophy is described thus, "The lines spring out from the base, rising in spirals, stretching out to receive the world. From the remarkable dynamic tensions of the compact body of the sculpture rise the figures of two athletes at the stirring moment of victory".
The trophy has the engraving "FIFA World Cup" on its base.
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