From Dubai, and six months before the start of the tournament activities, the original FIFA World Cup trophy started its world tour yesterday, in the presence of a group of legends and world football stars, led by two of the most prominent stars of the game who won the world title before, namely the former Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas and the famous Brazilian former player Kaka.
In addition to the legends and former world stars, the stars of the UAE national team, which participated in the 1990 World Cup in Italy, and senior officials of the Emirates Football Association, led by Mohammed Abdullah Hazam Al Dhaheri, Secretary-General of the Federation, Nouf Al Anzi, captain of the UAE women’s football team, and a number of representatives of the sponsoring company participated in the event of the World Cup Tour.
In his speech, Mohammed Abdullah Hazam Al Dhaheri said: “We are honored to have chosen the United Arab Emirates to host the start of the World Cup tour, which football fans always await with great eagerness and anticipation. Images of sporting excellence, as it is a unifying symbol for peoples and countries around the world and a source of inspiration and motivation for the younger generations.”
He added: “We are proud of attracting the world’s attention to Dubai with the World Cup tour, which is a city that used to host major sporting events. We welcome this tour once again and affirm the readiness of the UAE Football Association to contribute to the success of this event, making it the best World Cup tour that has been held to date”.
The World Tour of the Original Cup, organized by Coca-Cola, kicked off yesterday, with its first stop from Dubai. During this tour, the original cup will travel to 51 countries, and this year’s trip will be the first of its kind in which the cup will visit the countries of the 32 qualified teams for the World Cup.
Kaka said, “It is a great honor for me to be part of the first leg of the original World Cup tour. I was 20 years old when I debuted as a player in the World Cup tournament. Despite my age, I still have beautiful memories as if they happened yesterday. My participation in it, was a dream come true.”
Casillas pointed out that the most prominent thing that happened in my career was lifting this cup in 2010: “when I was captain of the Spain national team, and someone else in Qatar will raise it at the end of this year to feel what I felt years ago. I am so proud to join you on the day the original Cup World Tour begins to visit fans all over the world.”
For the first time in its history, the tour will visit several countries in the Middle East, such as Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Lebanon. It will also visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on its penultimate stop, before landing in the host country Qatar.
Abdul Rahman Mohammed, the star of the UAE national team in the 1990 World Cup, confirmed that seeing the FIFA World Cup in Dubai made him recall historical feelings and memories that accompanied the UAE national team’s participation in the 1990 World Cup.
He said: “We are happy to promote the World Cup from Dubai, as Dubai is able to promote any event with distinction and competence, and the presence of the cup between us reminded me of our first match in the 1990 World Cup, against Colombia, when the UAE national anthem was played, and all the players had great enthusiastic feelings, I remembered this Feelings and memories when seeing the World Cup now in Dubai.”
He added: “The World Cup is an important event and a goal for all football players. The presence of the Cup in Dubai motivated the national team players and motivates them before facing Australia in the Asian play-off qualifiers for the World Cup. They should be present in the World Cup, so we have great confidence in them, and they need to sacrifice and make their best to achieve this dream, and we support them in achieving this and qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.”
Khaled Ismail, a national team star in the 1990 World Cup in Italy, considered that the presence of the World Cup in the UAE motivates our players to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, given that this goal is the highest goal a football player aspires to achieve.
He said: “After 32 years of the UAE national team’s participation in the World Cup, the opportunity has come for the current generation to repeat this achievement, under much better conditions than the conditions our team went through in order to qualify for the 1990 edition, and with this we achieved the dream and realized the great difference and value that a player participates in.” Football in the World Cup at that time feels its true value.”
He added, “We must bear in mind that winning the next match in Australia is a fateful matter, which requires the struggle of the players in pursuit of this goal, and we must realize that the chances in football are always equal, and therefore our chances of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup are strong.”