January 24, 2018 / 10:16 AM / 7 months ago

World Cup arrives in Sri Lanka to kick off global tour

COLOMBO (Reuters) - The World Cup trophy has arrived in Sri Lanka for the first time as the most coveted prize in global soccer started a 54-country tour ahead of the 2018 tournament in Russia.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe (R), Former France national soccer player Christian Karembeu (2nd R) and Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara (2nd L) pose for photographs with the FIFA world cup trophy which starts a 50 country global tour from the Sri Lankan capital at a ceremony in Colombo, Sri Lanka January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

The trophy arrived late on Tuesday and was unveiled by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at two separate events with the participation of French 1998 World Cup-winning midfielder Christian Karembeu.

“We are privileged to be selected as the first country on the FIFA trophy’s international tour,” Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara told a gathering as the World Cup was put on display for the public.

The trophy is scheduled to be taken to Male in the Maldives later on Wednesday.

Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by John O'Brien

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