President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday received the FIFA World Cup trophy which is on a global tour ahead of this year’s tournament set to kick off in June in Russia.
This is the third time the country has been accorded an opportunity to host the coveted trophy. Earlier stops were in 2010 and 2013 ahead of the World Cup tournaments in South Africa and Brazil respectively.
Speaking during the colourful event at State House, Nairobi, President Kenyatta pledged his administration’s commitment to work with county governments in developing local talents.
Before unveiling of the World Cup trophy at State House, the President was treated to an interesting 20-minute display football match between Bunge FC and Copa Kids FC where the teams drew one all.
With supporters of both sides cheering their teams, Senator Kipchumba Murkomen of Bunge FC scored the first goal in the first half while the hard-fighting Copa Kids FC equalized in the second half.
“We have just witnessed a great game between our members of Parliament and these young, budding, future world cup participants who are here with us today,” President said.
Sports being a devolved function, President Kenyatta said he was pleased to see a number of governors attending the event at State House to celebrate the arrival of the World Cup trophy. The President said that was a sign of partnership between the national government and the county government in developing sporting activities across the country.
“I want to commit to you that as the national Government, we look forward to working together with you to develop the talents of our young people,” President Kenyatta told the governors.
Governors Josphat Nanok (Turkana), Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Paul Chepkwony (Kericho) and Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga) attended the event.
President Kenyatta pointed out that the arrival of the FIFA World Cup trophy in the country for the third time showed considerable partnership, friendship and the growing contribution by partners in developing sports in the country.
“For the third time, our country has been honoured with the arrival once again of this magnificent trophy in its world tour. On behalf of all Kenyans, we are truly grateful both to Coca-Cola and FIFA for once again picking Kenya as one of the countries during this Cup’s tour across the World,” the President said.
Cabinet Secretary Rashid Mohammed Achesa said, under his leadership, the Ministry of Sports and Heritage will work closely with the county governments to nurture talents right from the grassroots to the national level.
Kenya is the 21 country, this year, to host the World Cup trophy set to tour a total of 51 countries and 91 cities before the start of the World Cup tournament in Russia in June.
The trophy heads to Maputo, Mozambique, tomorrow after the Kenyan public were accorded an opportunity to view it up-close at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi today.