NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The World Cup trophy arrived in Nairobi on Monday
and was received by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House.
Local football fans
will have the chance to view the trophy in a special ceremony in
Nairobi at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.
The trophy, which is
accompanied by top FIFA officials, is on a worldwide tour and
will be received in 51 countries and in 91 cities in a bid to
promote the 2018 World Cup, which will be held from June 14 to
July 15 in Russia. From Nairobi, the trophy tour will head to
According to FIFA
guidelines, only a sitting head of state and World Cup winners
are allowed to touch the trophy. Kenya has never won the trophy
let alone participated in the World Cup finals, meaning no
individual bar President Kenyatta can touch the treasured jewel.
Morocco, Senegal and Egypt will represent Africa in this year’s
tournament in Russia.
This is the third
time the trophy has landed in Nairobi. Kenya had its first feel
of the trophy in 2010 when the continent hosted the World Cup in
South Africa and later in 2013 on its way to Brazil.
Braved Scorching Sun for World Cup Trophy
NAIROBI (Xinhua) — Thousands
of Kenyans on Tuesday braved high temperatures in Nairobi in
order to view the World Cup trophy that was on a two-day
stopover in Kenya.
Queues snaked around the compound of the Kenyatta International
Convention Center (KICC) where the 18 karat gold trophy was on
“Today is a historic day for me. It was the first time in my
life for me to see pure gold and a big chunk of it for that
matter,” Jeff Okello, an actor told Xinhua on the sidelines of
“The trophy has been handled by some of the greatest people
around the globe ranging from World Cup winning players to
presidents,” Okello said.
The trophy arrived in Nairobi on Monday from Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia aboard a branded chartered jet. President Uhuru
Kenyatta was the only Kenyan who was allowed to touch the
36-centimeter tall prize, an opportunity that is only reserved
for heads of state and past World Cup winners.
This is the third time the glittering 6.17kg prestigious crown
has stopped in Nairobi after arriving in the lead up to the 2010
and 2014 tournaments in South Africa and Brazil respectively.
Most people interviewed said they skipped work to attend the
event with some noting that they came from outside Nairobi.
“My conscious could not allow me to be left out of this notable
occasion and therefore I did not report for work in order to be
part of a once-in-a-lifetime event,” Reuben Oyende, a driver,
remarked while carrying his son on his shoulders.
Alice Ngendo said the trophy’s presence in the country should be
inspiration enough for Kenya to strive and qualify one day for
the World Cup.
Security was tight at the venue with armed police officers
keeping vigil while the public was allowed to pose for pictures
next to the trophy.
Members of the public gained entry to the venue upon purchasing
two bottles of Coca Cola. The Cup later left for Maputo,
Mozambique as part of a 51-nation tour courtesy of the global