World Cup trophy arrives in India

The World Cup trophy arrived in Kolkata on Sunday and was on display at the ITC Sonar on the first of its three-day stay in the City.
The Coca-Cola FIFA 2014 World Cup Trophy was on display at the ITC Sonar in Kolkata on Sunday afternoon as part of its world tour. The trophy is scheduled to remain in the City of Joy for a period of three days before continuing on its journey across the world that sees it visiting 88 countries over 9 months.

Carlos Alberto Torres, the Brazilian World Cup winning captain in 1970 was present to the handle the trophy while Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly were among the celebrities in attendance.

The trophy was brought in and joined on stage by the host of the evening, Mir Afsar Ali as the event got underway.

AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das creditied Coca-Cola for their role in Indian football of late. "Coca-Cola have participated in youth development programmes. The U-17 World Cup is a great platform for all stakeholders to come together to realise our dream. We are on the threshold of someting in Indian football."

Sourav Ganguly spoke about interacting with Brazilian legend, Carlos Alberto Torres when he took the stage.

"The 2017 U-17 World Cup will bring young boys back to the football field. The passion and the excitement that this sport can generate is enormous. I asked Carlos how the preparation is going. He said we are getting there," said the former captain of the Indian cricket team.

Renowned Indian singer Usha Uthap then sang her version of the 2014 World Cup anthem, "The World is ours" which was followed by a photo-op that involved all the dignitaries along with Carlos Alberto Torres and the trophy as well.

The legendary Brazilian player then had his say, "We know that we have the World Cup in Brazil. I am one of the ambassadors. I would like to invite you if it is possible. We are preparing our grounds to promote the best World Cup ever. I wish in the near future that India would play the world cup. Football needs your space. Lets help develop football in our country."

The event suffered a hiccup of sorts when Sports Minister of West Bengal Madan Mitra made a puzzling remark. "There are two World Cups. One is here and the other is Sachin Tendulkar and his Bharat Ratna. I also thank Roberto Carlos," said the sporting official, seemingly mistaking one Brazilian legend for another.

Kushal Das and Sourav Ganguly were then handed a trophy replica by the Coca Cola executive for their participation in the Trophy Tour and that concluded the event.

The trophy will be on display in Kolkata tomorrow as well at the Police Ground between 9 am and 9 pm.

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