Football enthusiasts throng KICC for World Cup trophy experience
- Thousands of football enthusiasts poured on the streets of Nairobi on Tuesday to have a glimpse and photo opportunity with the Fifa World Cup trophy.
- The magnificent trophy which is on a tour of the world, aiming to cover 51 countries and some 91 cities, Kenya included.
- Morocco, Nigeria, Egypt, Senegal and Tunisia-- are the only teams that will represent Africa in Russia. Kenya failed to qualify after they lost to Cape Verde at the pre-qualifiers stage three years ago.
Thousands of football enthusiasts poured on the streets of Nairobi on Tuesday to have a glimpse and photo opportunity with the Fifa World Cup trophy.
The magnificent trophy which is on a tour of the world, aiming to cover 51 countries and some 91 cities, Kenya included, as a measure of promoting the 2018 World Cup Games set to be played in the summer between June 14-July 15 in Russia, landed in Kenya mid-morning on Monday accompanied by top Fifa officials.
As early as 7 am on Tuesday, ecstatic youths, some clad in T-shirts of their preferred teams, were already lining in long, winding queues at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre(KICC), located within the city centre to have a photo chance with the prized trophy.
Not even the scorching afternoon sun that razed through the monumental building before letting its rays rest on the energetic youth could prevent them.
At one point, police were forced to use force to disperse rowdy fans after they tried to force their way through the trophy podium. However, order was quickly restored allowing the viewing to continue.
The trophy, in Nairobi, as part of a worldwide tour, sponsored by Coca-Cola, to popularise the sport ahead of the summer football extravaganza is a golden jewel valued at Sh1 billion and only sitting Heads of State and World Cup winners are allowed to hold it.
Only ten countries in Africa will have the rare chance to see the trophy. According to Coca-Cola Senior Brand Manager Rodney Nzioka, Kenya was chosen due to the country’s undying love for the game.
“You can see the undying love in these fans by the turnout and I believe we have attained our objective as Coca-Cola. As a corporate, we will continue with our programmes aimed at impacting the lives of these youngsters who have a dream of one day playing at the World Cup,” Nzioka said.
Nzioka also took the opportunity to thank his employers for making Nairobi one of the stop-overs among many the countries in the region.
“Sports strengthens friendship and partnership across all borders and I take this opportunity to thank Coca-Cola for giving loyal Kenyan fans an opportunity to witness the trophy,” Nzioka added.
His sentiments were echoed by veteran football commentator Ampher Apidi who is also an employee of Coca-Cola.
“Our main goal is to one day qualify for the prestigious event but we need to work on so many weaknesses before we get there,” Apidi said.
Morocco, Nigeria, Egypt, Senegal and Tunisia– are the only teams that will represent Africa in Russia. Kenya failed to qualify after they lost to Cape Verde at the pre-qualifiers stage three years ago.
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