History was created yesterday when the International Federation de Association Football (FIFA) World Cup Trophy arrived on local shores for the penultimate stage of the Caribbean leg of the third ever Coca-Cola World Cup Trophy Tour.
The trophy, which stands at 14.4 inches in height and is made of 11 pounds of 18 carat gold, arrived from neighbouring Suriname as part of the 92,942 mile 267 day tour.
Guyana is stop number 27 on the scheduled nine-month, 89-country journey which ends on April 21 2014 back in the host nation Brazil.
The tour is being co-ordinated by beverage conglomerate Banks DIH Limited whose Marketing/ Co-Managing Director George McDonald said the tour will have a profound impact on the sport and its development here.
“Today our nation is privileged to be among the countries that will be welcoming the trophy on tour. This is an exciting build up to the games and having this trophy here is a great moment, which gives us a first-hand view to see the world’s most coveted title in football.
“This occasion will definitely have an impact on the development of the game. As we welcome this trophy, let us all hope that the presence of it will bring us all together in the spirit of harmony,” said Mc Donald.
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony in giving a brief feature address stated that the country is a part of a history making event and that the work done by the GFF in partnership with companies like Banks DIH Limited was essential for the development and growth of the sport.
He added that the arrival of the trophy brings with it hope and aspiration that one day individuals and collectively the nation can aspire to great things.
“We are part of a history making event and the fever of football is growing. It being here brings hope and aspirations that one day we can be up there on the podium holding the trophy. It’s a wonderful experience and a once in a lifetime opportunity. To the teams from Coca-Cola and FIFA, welcome to Guyana,” added Dr. Anthony.
FIFA Representative and former Trinidad and Tobago, Aston Villa and Manchester United forward Dwight Yorke said yesterday was a special day in the history of Guyana’s football.
“It’s a privilege to be here. Today is a special day because the trophy is in Guyana which is a developing football nation. With the trophy being here it will help to encourage the people to progress in the sport.”
Yorke noted that while he has won a lot of trophies during his illustrious playing career, he jokingly quipped that this iconic accolade managed to evade his grasp.
“I am living proof that once you set your goals high, you can achieve it. I am truly humbled to be given the brand ambassador status to represent not only Trinidad and Tobago but the entire Caribbean,” added Yorke.
Guyana Football Federation (GFF) President Christopher Matthias said: “The FIFA World Cup Trophy by Coca-Cola symbolizes the essence of a partnership, the objective of which is to touch the lives of people far and wide.”
Matthias added that while Guyana might be unable to attend the actual FIFA World Cup… “We can still be made to feel part and parcel of the institution of football.
“On its own, the beautiful game of football has achieved the very same objectives. No one can deny the measure of emotions which the game evokes from those who are off the field long after the ninety minutes would have ended.
“By this magnanimous gesture, two great institutions FIFA and Coca-Cola have achieved the commendable objective of touching lives. The GFF, on behalf of all football loving fans, supporters and spectators wish to express our heartfelt gratitude of FIFA, Coca-Cola and to the family of Banks DIH Limited for this initiative so that many lives can be touched,” added Matthias.