Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, on Wednesday, expressed the hope that with the presence of the FIFA World Cup trophy currently on tour of Nigeria, the Super Eagles would be motivated to conquer the world at the Russia 2018 World Cup holding later in the year.
The minister stated this at the press briefing and formal unveiling of the World Cup trophy at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Olusade Adesola, the minister expressed the hope that the trophy would not only tour Nigeria but also come back to the country after the Eagles might have won it later in the year.
He added that the presence of the trophy would stimulate the country to adequately motivate the Eagles to do well in Russia.
Also speaking, the Managing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Bhupendra Suri, expressed delight that the trophy was visiting Nigeria for the third time, the last being 2010.
Suri informed that was brought to the country on tour was the original, solid gold FIFA World Cup trophy, saying that “What is brought here is not a replica of the World Cup but the original solid gold trophy.”
According to him, Coca-Cola had an agreement with FIFA to take the trophy on tour to 211 countries between 2006 and 2030, adding that Nigeria was one of few special countries where the trophy would be seen in two different cities.
Suri also announced that Coca-Cola would soon unveil a promotion in which Nigerians would win all-expense-paid trip to the World Cup finals in Russia.
On his part, the Managing Director of Nigeria Bottling Company, Georgios Polymenakos, submitted that Nigerians had amazing passion for the game of football and expressed the hope that the country would not only win the World Cup in Russia but also host the rest of the world in the near future.
Nigeria Football Federation President, Amaju Pinnick, while appreciating Coca-Cola fir bring the World Cup trophy to Nigeria, stated that with the partnership between the Federation and Coca-Cola, Nigerians would see a well-motivated Eagles in Russia.
He noted that the partnership between them is a direct consequence of the passion Nigerians have for the soft drink, declaring that, “Coca-Cola is like a religion in Nigeria.”
Also present the unveiling of the World Cup trophy were the NFF first Vice President, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi and Mr Clem Ugorji, Public Affairs and Communications Director, Coca-Cola West Africa Business Unit.
Earlier, Dalung had led a delegation that had a first view of the trophy inside the chartered aircraft that brought it on arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The delegation, which received the trophy, included Pinnick; Chairman, Senate Committee on Youth and Sports, Senator Obinna Ogba, his House of Representatives counterpart, Honourable Bukar Goni Lawan; Akinwunmi; NFF second Vice President, Mallam Shehu Dikko and NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi.