February 12, 2018 - 13:28 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - An incredibly cheerful atmosphere was reigning in Yerevan on February 7 when the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy arrived in Armenia for the very first time as part of the fourth FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola.
The tour is a rare opportunity for fans to see the most famous football prize up-close and take a selfie with the original gold trophy.
The FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola launched in Yerevan with a press conference, giving the participants an exclusive opportunity to be the first to see the famous cup.
“We are very glad that the Trophy is visiting Yerevan for the first time. The tour is a nice opportunity to get ready for a very fantastic World Cup in summer this year, which in fact will be inspired exactly by our values and our purpose of being. Which is in fact to bring this togetherness spread happiness and inspire for a better future,” said Christoph Speck, General Manager of Coca-Cola Hellenic Armenia, describing the day as historic.
1998 FIFA World Cup™ champion, retired French squad footballer Christian Karembeu was part of the delegation accompanying the gold Trophy to Armenia, who took the prize out for a public display following a press conference at the Opera House.
Later in the evening, Karembeu handed the Cup over to Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan at a special ceremony.
“Football is a unique world that unites billions of people, regardless of skin color, religion, sex, age, education. All they have in common is the love for this awesome game,” president Sargsyan said, thanking those behind the initiative and those implementing it.
The next day on February 8, the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy left Yerevan for Tbilisi on a chartered branded Coca-Cola plane.
President of Coca-Cola for Turkey, Caucasus and Central Asia Evguenia Stoichkova said she was most impressed by the smiles on people’s faces and the overall warmth and hospitality.
“We are very pleased with the results of the Trophy Tour in Yerevan, excited about the crowd of football fans and the interest among journalists at the press conference. It was a great honor for us to host the president of the country whose speech reflected his passion for the sport, the attitude towards Coca-Cola Hellenic Armenia,” Stoichkova said.
When departing from Yerevan, Karembeu stressed the importance of the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola.
“Hosting the FIFA World Cup Trophy will for sure inspire the youth of many nations and will of course mirror the values of football – respect, fair play, no discrimination, inclusion, diversity. It’s also [a way] to promote Russia as the host country of the 2018 World Cup™,” the former midfielder said.
“By bringing the Trophy to Armenia, I think we have partially fulfilled the dream of all the fans who can’t go to Russia,” Karembeu said, wishing the Armenian team the happiness to raise the most coveted football prize one day."
The FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour kicked off in September in Moscow. By December 2017, the Trophy traveled 16 000 km, visiting 16 Russian cities. The second phase of the Trophy Tour kicked off in London on January 22. The Trophy will return to Russia in May, after visiting a total of 91 cities. Prior to reaching Armenia, the prize had already been to Laos, Tonga, Sri Lanka and elsewhere.