The second leg of the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola kicked off today in Calcutta, which lived up to its nickname in India as 'the City of Joy'.
The star attraction, aside from the Trophy itself, was Germany legend and FIFA World Cup-winning captain Lothar Matthaus, who led the unveiling at the Trophy’s first-ever visit to India. Matthaus said: “It is a great pleasure to travel to India with the FIFA World Cup Trophy and I would like to share my personal experience with young footballers and to motivate them to play football.”
Among the hopefuls who may well be inspired by Matthaus were 16 of India’s most promising young footballers who, having attended the Trophy’s unveiling, will now join up with the Coca-Cola International Football Camp in South Africa during the FIFA World Cup later this year.
Atul Signh, President and CEO of Coca-Cola India, said that Calcutta was the perfect choice for the event. “Calcutta is chosen to be the first stop in Asia because it is a football crazy city,” he said. “Coca-Cola is proud to share the passion that fans have with football around the world.”
Kanti Ganguly, the West Bengal Government’s Minister of Sports, also revealed that the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola will enable 80,000 local people to see the Trophy and gain a great knowledge and appreciation of football. Furthermore, media coverage should bring news and footage of the visit to millions.
The Trophy’s three-day Indian sojourn is also to be marked by a mass fan celebration and experience in Calcutta’s Salt Lake Stadium, including a 3D film showcasing experience, souvenir photo-taking with the Trophy, interactive displays and other entertainment .
The FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola will travel 83 countries in 225 days, covering 138,902 kilometers, before concluding in South Africa ahead of the eagerly-anticipated 2010 FIFA World Cup.