More than 9?400 line up to see trophy

2010-05-17 00:00

MORE than 9 400 people turned up at the Suncoast Casino in Durban on Saturday to get a close view of the 18-carat gold Fifa World Cup Trophy.

The trophy was unveiled to the media at about 9 am by eThekwini Mayor Obed Mlaba, and the Coca-Cola World Cup Trophy Tour Pashasha competition winners were then given an opportunity to have their photographs taken with the trophy.

From 11 am, members of the Durban public were allowed to walk up to the trophy, which was locked in a glass case that no one was allowed to touch. The viewing lasted until 6 pm, with people moving in and out of the exhibition tent throughout the day.

Coca-Cola SA’s 2010 World Cup general manager, Onwell Msomi, said that issues of security have been extremely important in the hosting of the Trophy tour so far.

“Throughout the Trophy tour we have used private security companies, local security and local Metro Police forces to ensure the safety of the trophy at all of the tour’s stop-off points,” he said.

“At night-time the trophy is locked in a vault where it is guarded 24/7.”

Fifa rules state that no one, other than heads of state and World Cup winners, is allowed to touch the trophy.

Mayor Mlaba said he is extremely happy that the World Cup Trophy has come to Durban. “We feel really honoured to be a part of the visits that the trophy is making,” he said.

Saturday was the first day of the four-day-long KZN Trophy Tour, which saw the trophy move to uMlazi yesterday and Richards Bay today.

Pietermaritzburg residents can look forward to tomorrow, when they will have chance to get a close look at football’s most sought-after prize.

The trophy will be on display from 11 am at the Royal Showgrounds.

Cup viewers are encouraged to arrive earlier, though, as the Durban line grew very quickly.

Pashasha competition winners will need to arrive no later than 8 am if they are to have their photographs taken with the trophy.

There will be live entertainment on offer all day as well as a short 3-D film that will be screened for the public. The viewing will end at 6 pm.

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