Sports Minister ‘Akosita Lavulavu believes the inclusion of Tonga in the FIFA world cup trophy tour will be good for tourism.
The trophy was brought to Tonga yesterday January 31 as part of its world tour.
Tonga is one of the first countries on the tour, which began in Russia last September.
“This is great publicity for the kingdom,” Hon. Lavulavu told Kaniva News.
“I believe the uniqueness of our Kingdom is what made them want to bring the trophy
Tonga was a small island, but its people had big hearts and a passion for the sport.
This is the first time the FIFA World Cup trophy has visited Tonga since it began its campaign to qualify for a World Cup 22 years ago.
The tour will visit 51 countries across six continents, travelling 126,000 km in the nine
months leading up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia in June.
The FIFA World Cup Original Trophy is awarded to the winners of the FIFA World Cup while
remaining in FIFA’s possession.
The Trophy is made of solid gold and weighs 6.142 kg. It depicts two human figures holding
the globe above them.
The FIFA World Cup Trophy remains in FIFA’s possession and cannot be won outright.
The team winning the FIFA World Cup keeps the authentic original trophy for a short time
and is then awarded a gold plated replica.
Tonga has not qualified for the world cup since it began competing in 1998.