Home / PRESS RELEASE / ENGLISH VERSION / Tonga receives FIFA World Cup trophy for the first time

Tonga receives FIFA World Cup trophy for the first time

E-mail Print PDF

31st January, 2018 Tonga receives the FIFA World Cup Trophy today for the first time in history in an official ceremony at Queen Salote Memorial Hall, Nuku’alofa.

Tonga was selected to be one of the 51 countries to receive the trophy along with Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea during the 2018 World Cup Trophy Tour sponsored by Coca-Cola.

The Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Semisi Sika said, “Today marks a historic moment for Tonga as it is the first time in the history of football for the FIFA World Cup trophy to visit our shores.”

Hon. Sika stated that although the local soccer players have yet to make their mark on the sport he hoped that the trophy will inspire Tongans to embrace football and encourage them to strive to reach the world cup in the years to come.

He recognized the efforts of Tonga Football Association in promoting and developing the sport throughout Tonga and hoped that this occasion will inspire them to improve the quality of football to make it competitive and entertaining.

He also thanked Coca-Cola for bringing football’s greatest prize to Tonga for its people where they can experience the world cup trophy in the lead up to the FIFA world cup in Russia.

Vice-President of Tonga Football Association (TFA) Mr. Paula P. Ma’u said that Tonga is very fortunate to be selected by Coca-Cola as one of the destinations of the world tour of the FIFA World Cup Trophy.

“We are lucky enough to receive it without playing or competing for it, although we all worked so hard for it. Finally it is here in Tonga. And all thanks to FIFA’s sponsor, Coca-Cola for its effort.”

“This World Cup Trophy has power in itself. In Tonga, although soccer is still small here, this trophy has built an academy, the facilities, the trainings, the tournaments and so forth for the Tonga Football Association.”

Ma’u said that TFA has also produced international referees both men and women and they have officiated at World Cup tournaments and the Olympics.

FIFA legend Christian Karembeu who was a member of France’s World Cup 98 winning team told guests that he was very proud to visit this part of the region.

Karembeu who is originally from New Caledonia said that the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola will inspire youth to play football and to promote the game but also to implement the values of the sport.

Marketing Manager of Coca-Cola Amatil Fiji Mr. Lawrence Tikaram said they hope that the trophy will motivate young Tongans both locally and worldwide to continue to strive to reach the world cup in the years to come.

“It is a dream we all live but it is a dream that is not impossible. It can be done. It is our hope and the hope of many that this historical occasion will encourage and inspire all Tongans and all other Pacific islanders to engage in this sport and receive the many opportunities and possibilities that football has in-store locally and globally.”

He stated that the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola will put the Kingdom of Tonga on the world map, showcasing the friendliness of the country to the global family of football.

Tikaram said that they are looking to engage with government ministries and organisations to impact the lives of aspiring Tongans who hope to be a legend on the global sporting stage in whatever sport they choose.

ENDS

Issued by the: Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications

 

 

Who's Online

We have 262 guests online

CONSULATES/EMBASSIES

PUBLIC ENTERPRISES