The World Cup Trophy, the most coveted prize in football, is coming to the Cayman Islands as part of its world tour.
The Cayman Islands will host the cup on Monday, Oct. 7.
The solid gold trophy will visit 88 countries during the nine months prior to the World Cup in Brazil next year.
The trophy is being transported on board a plane owned by sponsors Coca-Cola and for the few hours on Oct. 7, it will be at a location near Owen Roberts International Airport, where fans can view it and, in some lucky cases, be photographed with it.
Cayman Islands Football Association president Jeffrey Webb became a FIFA vice president last year as well as president of the Confederation of Central American and Caribbean Association Football.
Although Cayman does not have a professional league, Mr. Webb being Caymanian helped get the trophy here.
“It is great news, especially for football lovers, that the biggest prize in the world of football is coming to Cayman for the first time,” Mr. Webb said. “This is another proud moment for the country and for local football and I encourage fans to take part in the Cayman experience.”
Sports Minister Osbourne Bodden said: “This is awesome. It puts Cayman on the football map once more.”
“I don’t know for sure about Jeff’s involvement but I think it’s more than a coincidence. It shows a growing importance of Cayman in FIFA’s eyes,” Mr. Bodden added.
He said he was looking forward to “bigger and better things and more FIFA-related activities in Cayman.”
The trophy will be in Jamaica before coming to Cayman and then will be flown to the Bahamas and, later, Bermuda. Its journey will include the first ever pan-Latin America tour, with events in 39 countries in the region. The tour will also be visiting 50 new countries that have never hosted the trophy before. The first time the trophy made a world tour was in 2006. This is its third tour.
In a tour spanning more than 92,000 miles, Coca-Cola and FIFA will take the World Cup trophy on its longest journey ever. Spain is the reigning World Cup holder, winning it three years ago in South Africa.
The global FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour kicked off with an official launch ceremony last Thursday at the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.
Five World Cup champions from each of Brazil’s five wins attended. They were Zagallo (1958), Amarildo (1962), Rivellino (1970), Bebeto (1994) and Marcos (2002).
Organizers estimate that the tour will give more than one million people around the world a chance to get up close and personal with the cup.
“We are extremely happy to bring the most iconic symbol in football to the world once again. As many countries start securing their spots in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, this tour gives us the opportunity to share our passion for the beautiful game with fans across the globe, who are given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the trophy up close in their home country,” said FIFA president Joseph Blatter.