As the 32 national teams eagerly await the outcome of the Final Draw of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia on 1 December, the coveted trophy they will competing for next summer has completed the first stage of its tour around the host country.
Over the past 78 days, the FIFA World Cup Original Trophy has visited 16 cities in Russia, including four host cities of the tournament. During the tour, which ended on 26 November, fans were offered a taste of the upcoming festival of football and came as close as you can be to the trophy every player is dreaming of lifting.
“The first stage of the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola came to a close in Sochi yesterday (Monday) after a great journey around the host nation, Russia,” said FIFA’s Chief Commercial Officer Philippe Le Floc’h. “Together with our partner Coca-Cola, we have visited 16 cities in Russia, travelling more than 16,000 kilometres and passing through six time zones. Over 220,000 people had the unique opportunity to see the FIFA World Cup Trophy with their own eyes. FIFA World Cup Ambassadors, local celebrities and thousands of passionate Russian football fans were there to welcome the trophy at every stop. We are looking forward to the rest of the tour, during which the trophy will visit 51 countries around the world before returning to Russia next May shortly before the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.”
As part of the events around the tour, numerous Host City Ambassadors – including Dmitri Bulykin, Yelena Isinbayeva, Natalia Ishchenko, Evgeni Lovchev, Viktoria Lopyreva, Sergei Metreveli, Anastasia Myskina, Alexei Nemov and Sergei Semak – were involved in the tour.
“As organisers of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the Trophy Tour is as important and essential a part of the preparations as any other operation,” said Alexey Sorokin, CEO of the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee. “This tour builds up the atmosphere of a festival of football and gives fans all over the country the unique opportunity to come within touching distance of the sport’s biggest prize, which the captain of the newly crowned world champions will raise above his head next July!”
“We are proud that the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola has given a unique chance to people throughout Russia to see this legendary prize in football up close,” commented Michael Vinet, General Manager of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ Project, Coca-Cola Russia, “but for us as the exclusive tour organisers, the social mission is even more important. Together with FIFA and the 2018 Local Organising Committee, we are drawing attention to the importance of developing youth football in Russia and supporting inclusivity in sports thanks to the tour. This is precisely why we have visited sports school, children’s homes and orphanages, schools for disabled children, universities and youth football tournaments. We put on four Unified Games featuring 3,000 players and fans. I hope seeing the FIFA World Cup Trophy in person will inspire them to future achievements in sport and life.”
On 22 January, the international leg of the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour™ by Coca-Cola kicks off in London, United Kingdom before visiting 51 countries on all six continents. The FIFA World Cup Trophy will return to Russia in May 2018, when it will visit nine more cities: Vladivostok, Novosibirsk, Ekaterinburg, Samara, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Saint Petersburg and Moscow.