On Monday 18 July, the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016 Trophy Tour kicked off in Bucaramanga. The launch ceremony took place in the auditorium at the Mayor's Office and was attended by the Mayor, Rodolfo Hernandez, and the Governor of the Department of Santander, Didier Tavera, among other dignitaries.
"We want to put Bucaramanga on the world stage, by welcoming people from all parts of the planet and making sure they enjoy this big party from beginning to end," said Hernandez. "We will be exhibiting this trophy in working-class neighbourhoods, in parks and in shopping centres, as well as in a range of other places around the province and the department," he added amid much fanfare.
The Mayor went on to highlight what a great opportunity hosting a global tournament of this magnitude is for the city, voicing his "gratitude to the national government" for the efforts it made to secure the event. He also spoke proudly about "opening the doors of the city" so that local fans and visitors alike can enjoy the Trophy Tour, which will be in town until Wednesday 27 July.
Bucaramanga is the venue for Group D, which is headlined by Brazil and also features Ukraine, Mozambique and Australia, and Group E, in which Argentina, Kazakhstan, Costa Rica and Solomon Islands will face off. In addition, Spain v Morocco (Group F) and Italy v Vietnam (Group C) will also be staged at the city's Coliseo Bicentenario arena.
After spells in Medellin and Cali, the other two Host Cities, the Trophy Tour will conclude in the Colombian capital of Bogota on 2 September, eight days before the competition gets underway.
FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016 Trophy Tour schedule
- Bucaramanga: Monday 18-Wednesday 27 July
- Medellin: Thursday 28 July-Sunday 7 August
- Cali: Monday 8-Wednesday 17 August
- Bogota: Tuesday 30 August-Friday 2 September