KIGALI - THE much-anticipated Fifa Coca-Cola World Cup trophy arrived in the country last night as it made the 34th stop on its African tour.
The golden silverware accompanied by Coca-cola and Fifa officials reached Kigali international airport from Bujumbura, Burundi on a Coca-cola branded chartered plane at 19.00 hours.
The trophy was received by the Minister of Sports and Culture Joseph Habineza, Ferwafa Vice President, Vedaste Kayiranga, Bralirwa Managing Director Sven Piederiet among others.
On arrival, the trophy was chauffeured right away to Serena Hotel in the company of Fifa and Coca-Cola officials.
The trophy which was hidden in a wrapping could not be easily seen but will only be displayed for public viewing at Amahoro stadium today.
The authentic trophy is set to be officially presented to President Paul Kagame this afternoon at the national stadium.
Kagame is set to become the first Rwandan to have his hands on the world’s most coveted sports icon.
Over 20 Heads of State and 70,000 fans have so far given the Fifa World Cup trophy a stirring welcome on its tour of the African continent. Only Heads of States and former winners are allowed to handle the solid gold.
The trophy will leave the country on Thursday to continue its tour to neighbouring Kampala, Uganda.
The Fifa World Cup Trophy was first used in 1974. Made of 18 carat gold with a malachite base, it depicts two human figures holding up the Earth.
The trophy stands 14.4 inches tall and is made of 5 kg of 75% solid gold with a base 5.1 inches in diameter containing two layers of malachite. Produced by Bertoni, Milano, it weighs 6.175 kg in total.
The current holder of the trophy is Italy, winner of the 2006 World Cup.
Shortly before the 2006 Fifa World Cup, the trophy was briefly returned to Italy for restoration before eventually being awarded to the same country.