To many, the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy is regarded as the most coveted possession in world sport. But with its arrival in South Africa last night it has taken on a new significance as a tangible symbol of all that is possible on the African continent.
The trophy itself was welcomed last night by the president of the South African Football Association Mr Kirsten Nematandani and the Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa, Dr Danny Jordaan, at a glittering occasion hosted by FIFA Partner Coca-Cola.
“It is a night when we say welcome to this trophy in World Cup country. The trophy is home. This is the end of a long dream and the beginning of a new dream. We have been dreaming that one day some country is going to come here and compete for this trophy on the African continent, and that dream was dismissed, that dream was challenged. Today as we say welcome to this trophy, we announce the death of doubt. There can no longer be any doubt,” Jordaan said just minutes before he unveiled the trophy.
The FIFA World Cup Trophy reached South African soil just after 19h00 last night after a three month long tour which saw the trophy travelling a distance of 134,017 kilometres across the globe and, for the first time ever, visiting every country in Africa.
Jordaan said the trophy was a symbol of hope and its arrival signaled the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for many.
“Just across the way is an island called Robben Island. It’s a place of dreams crushed, dreams renewed and of men who sat there and had a dream and pursued that dream. All of us who were in that struggle said one day we are going to be a democratic South Africa, one day we are going to be a member of FIFA and one day we are going to host this World Cup. Now that day has happened.”