Football’s World Cup trophy is coming to Grand Cayman for a few hours on Monday afternoon, but only a small group will be able to see and touch the most coveted prize in football.
The FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola is an exhibition of the solid gold prize. Because the trophy is so coveted, World Cup Trophy tour viewing events are limited in numbers for security reasons.
As one of the most recognized sports symbols in the world and a priceless icon, the FIFA World Cup Trophy is heavily guarded and can only be touched by former winners and heads of state.
The viewing of the trophy will be by invitation only at the Island Air hanger beside the Owen Roberts International Airport. It is coming from Jamaica and will go on first to Bahamas and then Bermuda.
Apart from cabinet politicians and high-ranking members of the Cayman Islands Football Association, only a few others will get a chance to see it.
Free tickets to view the trophy are provided through a promotion held by Kirk Distributors, the on-island distributors for the trophy’s tour sponsors Coca-Cola. This is the same format in the 88 countries on the worldwide route.
This trophy is the one presented by FIFA to the country winning the World Cup, next held in Brazil next year.
However, the trophy remains in FIFA’s possession, at their headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, so winning teams receive an engraved gold plated replica to keep.
The tour will give more than 1 million people around the world a chance to see the cup.
Greg Ebanks is the technical director of Elite Sports Club, one of the best football teams in Cayman.
He said, “This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the most iconic trophy in sport. Each and every one interested in football would love to see it but, unfortunately, the turnaround time and tight security prevents that.
“Nevertheless, it is a great honour for the Cayman Islands to host it, even though it is only for a few hours.”
* The trophy stands 14.4 inches tall and is made of 11 pounds of 18 carat gold with a base containing two layers of malachite.
* It is hollow and weighs 13.6 pounds and depicts two human figures holding up the earth.
* Since the first World Cup trophy was won in 1930 by Uruguay, two trophies have represented victory, the Jules Rimet Trophy from 1930-70, and the FIFA World Cup Trophy from 1974 to the present day.
* Brazil have won the World Cup a record five times.
* Spain are the current World Cup holders, who beat the Netherlands 1-0 in the final in South Africa in 2010.
* England have won it once, in 1966 at Wembley Stadium, when the tournament was played in the United Kingdom.