The original FIFA World Cup, which will be handed over to the captain of the victorious team inside the 80,000-capacity Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on 15th July 2018, as prize for conquering the world at the 21st FIFA World Cup finals in Russia, will arrive in Nigeria today.
The trophy, on a tour of 91 cities in 51 countries across six continents before the finals, will touch down at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport aboard a chartered flight at 11am this morning.
Officials have said that the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung; the Permanent Secretary, Olusade Adesola; President of Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Melvin Pinnick; NFF Vice Presidents Seyi Akinwunmi and Shehu Dikko and; NFF General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi, will have the first view of the trophy on the aircraft before it leaves the airport.
According to organisers of the trophy tour, 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, will make its way to the Transcorp Hilton Hotel for a press conference.
The iconic prize of world football will then be on its way to the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, where President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) will have a feel of the trophy and deliver a welcome remark, and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Dalung and other members of the Federal Executive Council will view the trophy as from 4pm.
A dinner at the Banquet Hall of the State House is planned for invited guests, and on Thursday, a whole day consumer viewing of the trophy is also 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 as well Pinnick and Akinwunmi.
A dinner is also planned for the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island the same evening, while there will be a consumer viewing of the coveted diadem at the Tafawa Balewa Square on Saturday, before the trophy departs Nigerian shores in the evening of Saturday.
This is the fourth Global Tour by the FIFA World Cup Trophy, and the third time it would be visiting Nigeria.
Germany won the last edition of the FIFA World Cup at Brazil 2014.