YEREVAN—Soccer fans in Armenia had the unique opportunity to see and welcome the touring FIFA World Cup Trophy, which arrived in Armenia on Tuesday as part of its world tour.
FIFA has been organizing the international tour of the World Cup Trophy with its corporate partner, Coca Cola, every four years since 2006. Armenia is among the 50 countries that the trophy will tour in, among them 23 countries that have not seen if before.
Since only World Cup winners and heads of states have the right to touch the trophy, 1998 FIFA World Cup champion from France Christian Karembeu accompanied the trophy to Armenia and during a ceremony outside of the Spandarian National Opera and Ballet Theater, presented in to President Serzh Sarkisain, who had brought along his grandson, little Serzh—a young soccer enthusiast.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, FIFA representative Lucas Rakhov donated a small replica of the golden cup by the International Football Federation, and Brazil’s Ambassador to Armenia Agemar de Mendonça Sanctos gave Sarkisain a soccer jersey from legendary champion, Pele, who had autographed it.
“Every soccer fan knows very well that the sport has the same unbreakable rules anywhere in the world. Perhaps, we enjoy and spend most of our lifetime watching live soccer games, during which players show willpower, resolve, determination and, in many cases, an amazingly subtle performance,” said Sarkisian in his remarks.
It is no coincidence that hundreds of millions of people worship the soccer stars who can make us feel happy; promote awareness of their native countries. We know this very well by Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s example. I do believe that at this point at least, there is no other Armenian in the world who makes our people more recognizable. We wish Henrikh every success in his career. I am sure that most of you have watched the latest Premier League game that featured Henrikh’s appearance in Arsenal,” said Sarkisian.
“Let Henrikh know that all of us wish him good luck, we are with him soul and heart, and he still has a lot to do. Henrikh is the leader of our national team, and the other guys on our team are setting an example for our teenagers. That is very important,” added Sarkisian.