Feb 2, 2018
The FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour™ by Coca-Cola made a special and historic stop on its global journey today as it touched down for the first time in Papua New Guinea.
The sight of the most coveted prize in football offered a fresh boost for the game in this Oceanian nation, which in 2016 hosted the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Indeed, the Papua New Guinea Football Association used the occasion of the Trophy Tour’s visit to launch ‘Road to Qatar 2022’, a campaign that aims to build on the experience of staging that unprecedented U-20 showpiece to further develop both grassroots and professional football.
As John Wesley Gonjuan, the association’s senior vice-president of the PNG FA, explained: “After hosting the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, the visit of the FIFA World Cup Trophy is another highlight in PNG’s football history. We believe this event will inspire young footballers across the country and will give our football development an important boost. We thank FIFA and Coca-Cola for making this event possible and for choosing PNG as one of the 51 countries visited during this Trophy Tour”
The occasion was made all the more memorable by the presence of a FIFA World Cup winner, with Christian Karembeu – a man with strong ties to the region – on hand to unveil the Trophy. The FIFA Legend and former France international, who was born in New Caledonia, spoke at an official ceremony to express his pride and happiness.
“It is great honour to travel the globe with the FIFA World Cup Trophy,” Karembeu told the assembled fans. “Having been born in Oceania, it is my special pleasure to give the people in Papua New Guinea a chance to experience the magic of the Trophy for the first time in their history.”
Earlier, Karembeu and his fellow passengers on the special branded Trophy Tour plane had been greeted by representatives of the national government, Coca-Cola and the PNG Football Association and dozens of journalists.
Coca-Cola were represented by Joyonto Chaudhury, the company’s General Manager for PNG. “As the exclusive organiser of the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour we want to get the people in PNG and all over the world ready for the excitement of the 2018 FIFA World Cup,” said Chaudhury. “Bringing the FIFA World Cup Trophy to PNG is our way of saying thank you to the great people of this country.”
Papua New Guinea was the eighth country of 51 being visited during the global leg of The FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour™ by Coca-Cola, which had already taken in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Thailand, Laos, China PR, Tonga and Solomon Islands. The tour now heads to Pakistan before moving on to Central Asia.