NAIROBI - The FIFA World Cup trophy has arrived in Kenya. A tour that began last September will see the famed trophy make stops in more than 50 countries across six continents ahead of its ultimate destination - Russia, the host of this year's World Cup tournament.
There was excitement as the most coveted trophy in football, the FIFA World Cup trophy, landed in Kenya's capital for a 26-hour visit on Monday.
Kenya is one of 10 African countries where FIFA, soccer's top organizing body, is bringing the trophy on its 51-country global tour.
The trophy and its handlers were met in Nairobi by government officials, FIFA country officials, and the country manager for Coca Cola, which is sponsoring the tour.
FIFA marketing manager Lucas Raschow is part of the team taking the trophy to various African countries.
"As you know there has been a lot of African teams participating at the FIFA World Cup and for us it is a great pleasure to be in Africa.... We know there area lot of passionate football fans here and for us it is about inspiring the youth and football players of the country of maybe dreaming of one day winning the FIFA world cup," said Raschow.
The trophy also visited Kenya before World Cup tournaments in 2010 and 2014.
Football fans in the Kenya will have a chance to view and take photos of the trophy on Tuesday at the Kenyatta International Conventions Centre in Nairobi.
The trophy stands only 36 centimeters tall and weighs just six kilograms.But it is extremely valuable, partly because it is made out of 18-carat gold, partly because it represents the pinnacle of soccer achievement around the world.
The trophy can only be touched and held by a very select group of people that includes former World Cup winners and heads of state. President Uhuru Kenyatta held the trophy at State House a couple of hours after its arrival.
Kenya will not make it to the tournament in Russia, as it lost to Cape Verde at the pre-qualifiers stage in 2015.
African countries that qualified for the tournament and a chance to win the trophy are Morocco, Nigeria, Egypt, Senegal and Tunisia.
On Tuesday, the trophy and its handlers take off again, heading to Maputo, Mozambique.