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February 3, 2018

FIFA World Cup trophy tour to Lahore lacks general fans touch

Sports

February 3, 2018

LAHORE: “A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” This is how the organisers of the FIFA trophy tour to the city on Saturday have described it. But how can hosting the trophy at a hotel and then displaying it at a private housing society makes it “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for masses?

A renowned international beverage company associated with FIFA is bringing the trophy on a chartered plane from Thailand to a hotel from where it will be taken to a housing society. Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif is expected to unveil it at the hotel.

The trophy is being escorted from Thailand to Lahore by Younis Khan and a couple of showbiz celebrities. No Pakistani footballer has been involved. The only footballer associated with the tour is former French World Cup winner Christian Karembeu who will be accompanying the delegation.

The trophy that started a world tour in September 2017 in Russia will be crossing six continents, visiting no less than 91 cities in 51 countries. Pakistan is its ninth destination from where it will head to Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Similar tours were taken by the ICC World Cup to Pakistan. That was put on display at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore and at Hawks Bay in Karachi. The ICC trophy was also taken to Edhi Centre in Karachi.

The Pakistan Football Federation has been suspended by FIFA, so an activity that could have projected the soft image of the country will be completed without common citizens even having a look at it.

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