Oct 24, 2016, 9:45 AM
The world football's greatest prize is set to embark on its longest ever global tour, with FIFA and Coca-Cola company taking the real solid-gold trophy to 86th countries during a 225-day journey that allows thousands of fans, including The Gambia to enjoy a rare close-up view of the authentic World Cup trophy.
The Gambia that has set up a Local Organising Committee (LOC) for this historic occasion will host the world's most prestigious championship trophy on October 6th , according to the Chairperson of the Local Organising Committee, Sett Adu Baa, at a press conference held at GRTS on Wednesday 23rd September 2009, as part of the events marking the start of pre-events leading to the arrival of the World Cup trophy in The Gambia in anticipation to South Africa 2010.
The Local Organising Committee, led by Sett Adu Baa of Gambega Ltd includes the Minister of Youth and Sports, Sheriff M.L Gomez, who is the LOC's first Vice- Chairperson, seconded by the Minister of Interior, Ousman Sonko, Director General of the Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS), Mr. Alhaji Momodou Sanyang, who also serves as the Chairperson of the Press and Marketing Sub-committee, Mr Lamin Manga, Proprietor of Unique FM Radio Station, among others.
The Chairperson of the LOC, Sett Adu Baa, who spoke at the occasion, underscored the significance of the much-anticipated FIFA World Cup trophy for the first time in the annals of sports in the country, adding that it would go a long way towards improving sports in The Gambia.
"The trophy as planned will arrive at the Banjul International Airport on October 6th which would avail only the journalists an opportunity to take photos of the trophy, at the main entrance of the Airport for the first time which is no doubt a rare opportunity in one's life time. But only the Gambian leader would be given the right to touch the FIFA Coca Cola World Cup trophy," the Chairperson of the LOC, Sheikh Adu Njie told journalists during this exciting press conference at GRTS.
According to Mr. Baa, the trophy shortly after arriving at the Airport would be taken to the President on 6thOctober, 2009, who would then present it to the rest of the Gambians at the Independence Stadium on the following day.
Minister Sheriff M.L Gomez, who was also part of the press conference dilated on the importance of the occasion, given the fact that it would be the first of its kind for The Gambia to host such a high-profile World Cup trophy. As a result, Gomez said, he took the opportunity to call on the entire Gambians to be part of this memorable occasion in the history of sports in the country.
The Minister of Interior, Ousman Sonko who has been tasked with the responsibility of serving the LOC as its second Vice-Chairperson also dilated on the security aspects of the occasion. He cited that plans were in the offing to ensure that strict measures are put in place for the safety of the Coca-Cola FIFA World Cup trophy, which he added, is a major concern for the world football governing body (FIFA).
"If FIFA is very much particular about the safety of the World Cup, why not The Gambia," the Interior Minister stressed.
The trophy is expected to be flown back on 9th October.