Abuja residents in awe of FIFA World Cup trophy

Lekan Sowande, Abuja

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For the fourth time ever, the authentic FIFA World Cup trophy arrived Abuja, the country’s capital as part of its global tour.

The trophy which was brought to Nigeria aboard a chartered flight arrived at about 11am local time at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

An 18-carat gold moulded in the form of  two human figures with outstretched arms, holding the globe, is the most coveted trophy on earth and as such, an object of overwhelming emotions among football crazy nations.

The trophy with a malachite base is the reward that will be handed to the 2018 FIFA World Cup winning team at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia on July 15.

The trophy was brought to Nigeria in the days leading to France ’98, Germany 2006 World Cup and t South Africa 2010.

In its current tour and powered by Coca-Cola as before, it is expected to get to 91 cities in 51 countries.

From the airport, the trophy, accompanied by several top officials of Coca-Cola’s Global Office and Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, including Coca-Cola Nigeria Managing Director Bhupendra Suri and Managing Director of Nigeria Bottling Company Georgios Polymenakos, made its way to the Transcorp Hilton Hotel for a press conference.

The iconic prize of world football later then moved to the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, where President Muhammadu Buhari had a feel of the trophy along with other members of the Federal Executive Council.

Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited officials have confirmed that on Thursday, a whole –day consumer viewing of the trophy is planned for the Old Parade Ground, Abuja.

The trophy and its accompanying team will then fly into Lagos on Friday morning, to be received by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and members of his cabinet.

There will be a dinner for the entourage in Lagos before the trophy departs Nigerian shores in the evening of Saturday.