The FIFA World Cup trophy arrived in the country last Monday on a chartered plane branded with the colours of the tour sponsors, Coca-Cola.
The pure gold trophy was met on arrival at the Air Force base in Accra by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, GFA President Kwesi Nyantakyi and senior officials of the Coca-Cola company who all had the privilege of seeing the trophy in the plane.
As has been its tradition, only sitting heads of state get the exclusive privilege of holding the trophy. And at a lavish banquet at the State House last night, President John Mahama hosted the trophy and joined his predecessors J.A. Kufuor (2006) and J.E.A. Milla (2010) to lift football’s much vaunted prize.
The World Cup trophy tour is making its third global tour and also third stopover in Accra after visits in 2006 and 2010 .
Accra made history when the first ever Coca-Cola FIFA World Cup tophy tour begun in the nation’s capital in 2006 during three-month journey of 28 countries.
Three years ago, Accra again hosted football’s most valuable prize during a global tour of 84 countries and 130 cities.
A special FIFA representative, Pekka Odriozola-Martesson, who escorted the trophy yesterday from Morocco, noted that Ghana, being the only West African nation to host the trophy for the third time running, spoke volumes of FIFA’s admiration for the growth of the game in the country.
The Youth and Sports Minister was optimistic that the Black Stars could win the trophy and charged the players to train extra hard towards the tournament.
Mr Nyantakyi also fancied Ghana’s chances of winning the World Cup and added that it was up to the players to believe they can do it in Brazil.
The trophy will be displayed today at the Accra International Conference Centre, for football fans to get a close-up view of it before it leaves Accra tonight for its next stop,Nairobi, Kenya.