FIFA World Cup Trophy stops by on Vincentian soil
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October 18, 2013

FIFA World Cup Trophy stops by on Vincentian soil

St Vincent and the Grenadines may never host the FIFA World Cup, nor reach the finals of football’s showpiece, but earlier this week, a selected few Vincentians got a rare opportunity to view the coveted prize, the FIFA trophy.{{more}}

The trophy was on display at a gala event hosted at the Buccament Bay Resort last Tuesday evening, attended by specially invited guests, including government and sports officials, sponsors and the media. But only Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne was allowed to touch the 18 carat, 75 per cent gold trophy, which weighs five kilograms and stands 36.5 centimetres tall.

Original plans for the trophy to arrive at the E.T. Joshua airport on the specially chartered Coca Cola aircraft had to be shelved, because of the inadequate length of the runway for the aircraft to take off.

Instead, the aircraft landed on Canouan in the Grenadines, and the trophy was ferried to the Buccament Bay Resort.

Concerns were raised in some quarters that St Vincent and the Grenadines was slighted by the trophy tour. Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves, in his brief address at last Tuesday’s ceremony, expressed concerns about the exclusion of many youngsters from the opportunity to see the trophy.

He said his preference was for the ceremony to have been hosted at an open area with a festive flavour, including local soca artistes.

Roberto Labeira, Brand Manger of Coca Cola explained to SEARCHLIGHT some of the factors which are taken into consideration when the tours are structured.

“… It depends on the logistics and the dates when the markets are available … In markets where we are staying two days, we do the consumer activation, but in markets [where] we stay for less than one day, we only have time to do the gala event, as is the case here in St Vincent and the Grenadines,” Labeira advised.

He ruled out any security concerns about displaying the trophy in public, stating that detailed studies are carried out and circumspect arrangements are put in place.

“…We do all the measurements made at the venue and the event goes without problems,” Labeira revealed.

Neigbours St Lucia will host their event on October 21, at the Beausejour Cricket Stadium, where the general public will be able to have a view. During the St Vincent and the Grenadines’ leg, attendees at the ceremony had a chance to be photographed next to the trophy.

St Vincent and the Grenadines was among the 89 countries on the agenda for the trophy tour and one of fifty which are getting their first view of the trophy.