FIFA World Cup trophy arrives in Pakistan

FIFA World Cup trophy arrives in Pakistan
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ISLAMABAD - The FIFA World Cup trophy will touch down in Pakistan on Saturday on its global journey ahead of the World Cup 2018 in Russia. The trophy will make a stop in Lahore on the CocaCola FIFA World Cup Trophy tour, visiting no less than 91 cities across 51 countries and six continents before settling back in host-nation Russia in May.

Former French World Cup winner Christian Karembeu will join former Pakistan cricket captain Younis Khan, singers Quratulain Baloch, Momina Mustehsan, actor Maya Ali and other top local figures on a special chartered flight to bring the trophy to Pakistan.

The trophy will remain in Lahore for a day, where it will be put on public display at a park during an ongoing festival. The FIFA World Cup trophy, introduced in 1974, is made of 18 karat gold with a malachite base, and stands 36.8 centimetres high and weighs 6.1 kilograms. The trophy depicts two human figures holding up the earth. The FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour kicked off in September 2017 in Russia.

During its journey across six continents, the trophy will travel 126,000 kilometres in the months leading up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The global phase of the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour kicked off in London, United Kingdom on January 22. The trophy will finish its world tour in Tokyo, Japan on April 30. In May 2018 the trophy will return to Russia for a final tour of the host country. The FIFA World Cup will run from June 14 to July 15, 2018.

A proud football fan, former Pakistan cricket captain Younis Khan says he is “honoured” to be part of the delegation bringing the FIFA World Cup trophy to Pakistan on its world tour. Speaking to media in Chiang Mai, Thailand, from where the legendary batsman will accompany the trophy to Pakistan, Younis shared his excitement for the special occasion.

“It is an honour for me to be part of the delegation chosen to accompany the FIFA World Cup trophy to Pakistan,” he said, ahead of the trophy’s stopover in Lahore on Saturday. “It is a big [feat] for the trophy to come to Pakistan,” Younis said, adding that he has “always been a fan of football”.

The cricketer will be joining singers Quratulain Baloch, Momina Mustehsan, actor Maya Ali and other top figures on a special chartered flight to bring the trophy to Pakistan tomorrow. Former French World Cup winner Christian Karembeu will also be accompanying the delegation. The trophy will remain in Lahore for a day, where it will be put on public display at a park during an ongoing festival.

Asked about which team has his support, Younis said he will be cheering for Argentina. The FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour kicked off in September 2017 in Russia.

During its journey across six continents, the trophy will visit no less than 91 cities across 51 countries, travelling 126,000 kilometres before settling back in host-nation Russia in May.—AFP

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