As Brazil is busily preparing to host the 2014 World Cup, FIFA works to share the joy of the football celebration with the rest of the world, including Indonesia.
The nation is one of 88 countries chosen to host the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour, which started in Rio de Janeiro on Sept. 12 last year.
Organized by one of its official sponsors, multinational beverages company Coca-Cola, the 267-day tour is making Indonesia its 57th before flying to Chile, South America.
“Today is a very special day for football fans. Traveling 149,000 kilometers across the world, Coca-Cola and FIFA are taking this iconic trophy to Jakarta. After visiting 56 countries, the trophy is finally making its 57th stop in Jakarta,” Coca-Cola Indonesia president director Martin Gil said on Monday.
“We are here to invite all people to participate in celebrating this year’s World Cup, which will be held in Brazil. It is one of the most exclusive and most celebrated sporting events in the world. People find happiness and togetherness in football.”
According to FIFA, this is the trophy’s third and longest tour around the world since it began in 2006, traveling a distance of nearly 150,000 km — more than three times the circumference of the earth — in nine months.
With the trophy’s third visit to Jakarta, the Indonesia Football Association (PSSI) hopes it could inspire the national football stakeholders so that Indonesia may participate in the World Cup someday.
“The third tour is a gentle reminder for the nation to take part in the celebration. I hope the tour would inspire our kids to bring a significant change to the country’s football in the future. Meanwhile, Indonesia is ready and very excited to host the tour,” PSSI secretary general Joko Driyono said.
FIFA ambassador Dwight Yorke said he was excited to be back in Indonesia once again with the Cup.
“It’s an honor, a privilege for me to be back here as an ambassador for FIFA. I know that 2010 the tour visited the country and now we’re back again because we know how passionate you are when it comes to football,” the former Manchester United striker said.
“The message is very clear in terms of what we try to portray, to bring the trophy here once again to the people of Jakarta,” said Yorke, who played for the national team of Trinidad and Tobago at the 2006 World Cup. “For me it’s like coming back to the place that I’ve sort of known in the past few years. The people, the food, the culture are fantastic here.
“We’ll look forward to spend few days with you guys. Hopefully the fans will come out to see the Cup. This is the real thing, the real deal. Only eight countries in the world to be able to put their hands on it.
“We’re here to encourage people in Indonesia that one day [the national team] will be in the World Cup.”
During its three-day visit, the authentic trophy, which is 36.8 centimeters high, weighs 6.18 kilograms, and is made of 18-carat gold, was presented at the Presidential Palace on Monday before being displayed in public.