In a symbolic gesture and echoing the thoughts and hopes of over 25 million citizens, Ghana’s President Mahama unveiled the FIFA World Cup trophy with three kisses and a simple prayer asking God to return the trophy to Ghana at the end of the World Cup in Brazil.
Applauded by former Black Stars players and captains like Anthony Baffoe, Joe Addo, John Mensah and Abedi Pele, the heavily guarded trophy which made its third public appearance in the Ghanaian capital since 2006, was the star attraction at a special dinner hosted by the President at the state banquet hall in Accra.
As per FIFA rules, the President who is the only Ghanaian allowed to touch Silvio Gazanagi’s 14.4 inches and 18 carat gold trophy became the third Ghanaian Head of State to have had a feel of football’s most coverted trophy following in the footsteps of his predecessors President Kuffour (2006) and the late President Attah Mills (2010).
President Mahama hoisted the hand sculptured trophy on three occasions before his declaration”….the Black Stars can and will bring the trophy to Ghana come July 2014″.
The short but impressive event was graced by high level dignitaries and delegations including the Brazilian Ambassador to Ghana H.E. Irene Vida Gala, Ghana’s Minister of Youth and Sports Hon Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, Tourism Minister Hon Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare and Boxing legend Azumah Nelson.
Brazilian percussionist group Manablocco where present to the give the gathering a feel of Brazilian samba music while Ghanaian singer Miss Stephanie Benson also added a touch of glamor to the occasion.
On Monday, World football’s most prized item, the FIFA World Cup touched down at the Ghana Air Force base in Accra for the third time as part of the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour in partnership with the Coca-Cola Company.
Powerful ‘jama’ tunes from the Ghana United Supporters Union (GUSU) provided the perfect backdrop for this historic event supported by the Ghana Dance ensemble in the presence of a high level delegation including Head of FIFA Media Pekka Odriozola, Ghana Football Association President Mr. Kwasi Nyantakyi, Head of Coca Cola in Ghana Mrs Linda Larbie and Coca Cola Africa Head Reiner Becker.
The FIFA World Cup Trophy tour came to successful end as thousands of football loving Ghanaians thronged the Accra International Conference Centre to catch a glimpse of the iconic and famous trophy.
The tour kicked off in Rio de Janeiro on the 12th of September and will travel around the world for nine months before returning to the country that will host the 2014 FIFA World Cup: Brazil.