In what could be a historic moment for the country, the official FIFA World Cup Trophy was brought to Bhutan for the first time yesterday. This gave hundreds of football enthusiasts in Thimphu a life time opportunity to get an upclose look at the most coveted prize in football.
The trophy arrived at Paro airport from Dhaka, Bangladesh at around 11 am in its very own branded plane used for carrying it and the tour team all over the world.
The trophy and the team were granted an audience by His Majesty before it was unveiled to the public.
His Royal Highness, Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck unveiled the magnificent trophy at Changlimithang Stadium yesterday afternoon in the presence of Vice President South West Asia Operation, Coca Cola India and South West Asia Region Neeraj Garg, President of Bhutan Football Federation Ugyen Tsechup Dorji, Vice President Finance, Coca-Cola Nepal and Bhutan Sanjeev Kumar, Managing Director of Tashi Beverages Tshenchok Thinlay and members of the media.
Vice President South West Asia Operation, Coca Cola India and South West Asia Region Mr. Neeraj Garg said “it is a really a historic movement, we are very privileged to spent some time with His Majesty the King and His Majesty was kind enough to tell us that this is a story he would like to share with his children and grand children. It is really something that Coca-Cola takes pride in bringing here simply because football is everybody’s game and Coca-cola is every body’s drink.”
President, Bhutan Football Federation, Dasho Ugyen Tsechup Dorji said, “This is something that most Bhutanese, 99.9 percent of Bhutanese have not seen up close. We hope that all of us cherish this moment.”
Managing Director, Tashi Beverages Tshenchok Thinlay said, “As Coca-cola, we are very excited to have this spectacular opportunity to open happiness for the people of Bhutan. I thank Bhutan Football Federation and all another government agencies for their support in bringing this trophy to our country.”
The worldwide trophy tour kicked off in Rio de Janerio, Brazil on September 12 and shall return to Brazil in late April 2014, in time for the start of the World Cup. The global tour includes stops in 84 countries across all six FIFA confederations in nine months and known to be the “largest journey” the trophy has ever travelled, over 149,576 km. Bhutan is the 50th stop for the trophy tour.
The trophy can be touched and received only by the Head of the State or a member from a World Cup winning team from any year.
This year, the tour will also be visiting 50 other new countries that have never had the opportunity to host the trophy before.
This is the third time that the original FIFA world Cup trophy is going on tour around the world. The 2013/2014 world cup trophy tour will travel to 90 countries around the globe over nine month period.
The Coca-Cola Company has a formal association with federation Internationale de football Association (FIFA) since 1974 and an official sponsorship of FIFA world cup that began in 1978. Coca-Cola has had stadium advertising at every FIFA world cup since 1950.
The trophy will be leave Paro airport tomorrow for Nepal.