KARACHI: Although Pakistan's football strength is not that much which could place the nation in the FIFA World Cup but at least the country will feel proud when it will host the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup trophy next month.
The trophy will arrive in Pakistan on June 7.
However, the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee is not aware of the fact that the trophy is coming to Pakistan but the world body has confirmed that it will land in Islamabad on the said date.
“We are now in a position to confirm that the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca Cola is intending to visit Islamabad on June 7,” a FIFA spokesperson said on Friday.
"After UAE, the tour will make several debut stops across the Middle East, visiting Oman, Bahrain, and Kuwait. For the first time ever, the tour will visit all 32 countries that qualified for the FIFA World Cup, inspiring fans across the world through exclusive consumer experiences," the spokesperson added.
An official of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) also confirmed that the trophy will be reaching Pakistan on June 7.
"Yes officials of Coca Cola had come here a few days ago and had also invited us to attend the ceremony. Yes it is confirmed that the trophy will tour Pakistan on June 7," the official told 'The News'. "As far as the venue of the ceremony is concerned so I cannot say anything about that," the official said.
A senior member of NC told 'The News' that NC has not been officially informed by FIFA about the trophy visit.
"We have also heard that the trophy is coming but we have no official words from the world body," the NC member said.
The FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola kicked off on Thursday with a first-stop event in Dubai where former FIFA World Cup winners Iker Casillas and Kaká came together to send the original trophy on its journey around the world ahead of the tournament later this year.
The Trophy Tour will stop in 51 countries and territories, bringing Coca-Cola and FIFA one step closer to the goal of visiting each of FIFA’s 211 member associations by 2030. For the first time ever, the tour will visit all 32 countries that qualified for the FIFA World Cup, inspiring fans across the world through exclusive consumer experiences.
Like what happened in the 2018 World Cup Trophy tour to Pakistan this time again a special ceremony will be held in Islamabad to which football stars and stakeholders are expected to be invited to grace the occasion.
The trophy will come from Uzbekistan and will then leave for Saudi Arabia after a day's stop over at the federal capital.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan is still serving suspension and that seems to be the main reason why NC has not been taken on board by the world football governing body so far.
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