Thursday 06 July 2017, 18:03

FIFA World Cup Trophy to make the longest-ever journey around a Host Country

• The longest-ever national FIFAWorld Cup Trophy Tour will start this September• The Trophy will visit 24 Russian cities from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad• Tour itinerary was announced during a vibrant ceremony at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow

After experiencing a major global football tournament for the first time with the recent FIFA Confederations Cup 2017, Russia is gearing up for an even bigger festival of football in less than 12 months’ time. The game’s flagship event, the FIFA World Cup™, comes to Russia in 2018, and excitement is building by the day in the host nation.

However, it is not only the 11 Host Cities where this excitement can be felt. That is because, from early September, the most recognisable and iconic symbol of this great football event, the FIFA World Cup Trophy™, will start its marathon journey around Russia.

The itinerary for the Russian tour was announced during a ceremony at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, where the captain of the 2018 FIFA World Cup-winning side will lift the trophy in a year’s time.

"In the world of sports, there is simply no symbol as powerful as the FIFA World Cup Trophy. The whole planet knows this piece of art and associates it with glory. For FIFA it is also the passion of millions of fans around the world – regardless of age, gender, origin or social condition – represented in one single image," FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said.

"We find it only fair that these passionate fans may have the chance to see this image in person, from up-close. For over a decade now, FIFA has been teaming up with its long-standing partner Coca-Cola to make this possible. Today we announce the opportunity for people from all over Russia to experience this feeling."

It will be the longest Trophy Tour of a Host Country in the history of the World Cup – and little wonder, given the vast size of Russia’s territory. In a 123-day journey covering more than 26,000 km, the Trophy will visit 24 Russian cities, from Vladivostok in the far east to Kaliningrad, the most westerly of the Host Cities.

“Almost all of the country will have the chance to see the famous Trophy, which can tell people more about football’s values and about the FIFA World Cup,” said Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and LOC Chairman Vitaly Mutko. "Russia has already opened its doors to the teams, fans and guests from all over the world during the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and everyone has seen Russian hospitality. Next year, Russia and FIFA will host the FIFA World Cup at the highest level. You already can see this beautiful stadium, which is practically ready for the biggest event.”

The FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour is a joint venture between FIFA and long-standing partner Coca-Cola. First staged ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany, it is now a firmly established tradition and is growing in scope and outreach with each edition. In 2013 and 2014, more than a million fans got to fulfil the dream of every football player and see the Original Trophy with their own eyes.

"As a longtime supporter of football, Coca-Cola Russia believes that the FIFA World Cup Trophy is a symbol of optimism that connects people all over the world. This is a unique opportunity to bring millions of Russians together to celebrate the first FIFA World Cup in this country,” said Ljubo Grujic, General Manager of Coca-Cola Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. “With kick-off less than a year away, we want to maximise excitement and anticipation by bringing sport’s biggest prize directly to the fans. With this tour, we are inspiring and celebrating the world’s most popular sport, while creating unforgettable experiences for players and fans. We can create football history in Russia, together as one team."

On the Tour, the Trophy will visit more than 50 countries, and quite naturally it will make the most stops in Russia. French football legend and 1998 FIFA World Cup winner Marcel Desailly, who recently attended the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017, is convinced that Russia will host a great 2018 FIFA World Cup.

“It was amazing to win the FIFA World Cup in 1998, because France was not regarded as the best team at that time, and this win made happy and inspired so many people,” said Desailly. “This is what the FIFA World Cup is about: inspiring people. And the Trophy itself can generate much excitement, push youngsters to work hard, and to dream. Russia will learn this very soon.”

Russian itinerary for the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour*Phase 1 (2017)*

  1. Krasnoyarsk: 09.09 –12.09

  2. Omsk: 15.09 –17.09

  3. Chelyabinsk: 20.09 – 24.09

  4. Ufa: 26.09 - 01.10

  5. Perm: 03.10 –04.10

  6. Saransk: 06.10 – 07.10

  7. Yaroslavl: 11.10 – 12.10

  8. Kaliningrad: 13.10 – 15.10

  9. Tula: 17.10 – 18.10

  10. Kursk: 20.10 – 22.10

  11. Voronezh: 26.10 – 29.10

  12. Saratov: 01.11 - 06.11

  13. Volgograd: 08.11 – 12.11

  14. Krasnodar: 14.11 – 19.11

  15. Sochi: 22.11 – 26.11 Final Draw Moscow: 01.12.2017

Phase 2 (2018) 16. Vladivostok: 01.05 – 04.05.2018

  1. Novosibirsk: 05.05 – 08.05

  2. Ekaterinburg: 09.05 – 12.05

  3. Samara: 13.05 –16.05

  4. Kazan: 17.05 – 20.05

  5. Nizhniy Novgorod: 21.05 - 24.05

  6. Rostov-On-Don: 25.05 – 28.05

  7. Saint-Peterburg: 29.05 – 02.06

  8. Moscow: 03.06 –07.06