MOSCOW, June 3. /TASS/. The much-coveted FIFA World Cup Trophy returned to Moscow after travelling to more than 50 countries during its over nine-month global tour dedicated to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which kicks off in Russia this month, TASS reports from the scene.
The FIFA World Cup Trophy was shown to journalists, young athletes, guests and residents of Moscow and the Moscow Region on Sunday.
The presentation ceremony was attended by Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, Local Organizing Committee Director General Alexei Sorokin, Ambassador for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, titled rhythmic gymnast Lyasan Utiasheva, 1990 FIFA World Cup champion Lothar Mattheus (Germany) and Project Manager of the Coca Cola System in Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preparations Mikael Vine.
"Moscow is a sports capital: we hosted the Olympic Games [in 1980] and dozens of world championships in various disciplines," the Moscow mayor said.
"Today Moscow is becoming the world’s football capital and we are receiving as a long-time friend the World Cup Trophy, which already was in Moscow and then traveled through dozens and hundreds of cities and again returned to Moscow. We are waiting together with football fans and football followers from all over the world the referee’s first whistle at the Luzhniki main arena. All of Moscow’s guests will enjoy not only football and top-class stadiums but also a splendid city: museums, theaters, parks and, what is the main thing, the smiles and hospitality of Muscovites," the Moscow mayor said.
The FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour kicked off on September 9 in the Russian capital of Moscow and traveled across Russian cities until December, when it continued its journey abroad visiting over 50 countries across six continents.
According to FIFA, the Trophy tour "is a rare opportunity for fans to see the Original Trophy up close and have their experience captured with a photograph."
"It’s an exciting and exclusive experience since the Trophy is otherwise only displayed at the FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich, during the FIFA World Cup Final Draw and at the final match of every FIFA World Cup."
The tradition of putting the Trophy on the journey around the globe ahead of the quadrennial football championship was launched ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. The Trophy Tour in 2006 visited 29 countries and saw over 175,000 football fans taking pictures next to the FIFA World Cup Trophy.