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Football World Cup Trophy in Auckland

(PR.co.nz) Auckland will host the solid gold Football World Cup trophy during a whistle-stop New Zealand visit on 27 April.

The trophy, currently held by previous champions Italy, is touring the globe ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in June.

New Zealand’s national football team, the All Whites, earned a spot in the finals – to be held in South Africa – after beating Bahrain in November. It is the first time in 28 years that New Zealand has made the finals.

NZ Football chairman Frank van Hattum said he was thrilled with the one-day visit, during which the trophy will be officially welcomed to New Zealand at Auckland’s Sky City Convention Centre. The cup is coming to New Zealand from Japan.

“It’s an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Kiwis to get up close to the World Cup. It’s probably the most coveted trophy in world sport. Now that we are going to be part of the tournament, it’s extra special,” van Hattum said.

Whirlwind world tour
The Football World Cup trophy began its milestone journey at world football body FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich last September, and will travel more than 138,902km – three times the circumference of earth – to visit 84 countries.

Frank van Hattum believes this is the first time that the coveted cup will land on Kiwi soil. This is the second version of the trophy, the first having been handed over to Brazil permanently when they won it for the third time in 1970.

Many of New Zealand’s All Whites will be in attendance to greet the cup, along with 500 Kiwi football fans – winners of a nationwide competition offering the chance to view the cup and rub shoulders with football’s elite.

Number one supporter
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key – who is the All Whites official “No 1 supporter” – is hoping to be able to go to South Africa to see the All Whites play in the finals.

Mr Key, who is a ‘soccer dad’ in his spare time, has an All Whites scarf and shirt with ‘Key’ and the number ‘10’ printed on the back.

New Zealand All Whites
New Zealand’s All Whites first qualified for the FIFA World Cup finals in 1982.

The All Whites name was coined during the 1981 Football World Cup qualifying campaign when New Zealand wore an “all white” playing strip. The name struck a chord and stayed.

FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup, also called the Football World Cup, is an international men’s football competition. The championship is awarded every four years since the first tournament in 1930.

Brazil has won the World Cup five times and is the only team to have played in every tournament. Italy is the current holder of the cup.

The World Cup is the most-viewed sporting event in the world, with an estimated audience of 715.1 million for the 2006 World Cup held in Germany.

Media Release 16 April 2010 from newzealand.com.

 



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