The iconic FIFA World Cup Trophy made a stop in Uzbekistan today on its global tour ahead of the World Cup in Russia later this year. Christian Karembeu, a member of the French team that won the 1998 World Cup, and Uzbekistan Football Association vice-president Umid Ahmadjonov unveiled the trophy in front of invited guests.
The trophy was briefly displayed on the airport, then it was transferred to Tashkent Hyatt Regency Hotel, where a press conference was held.
At the press conference Christian Karembeu congratulated Uzbekistan on victory at the Asian U23 Championship in China.
"I am glad that the World Cup has come to Uzbekistan and I would like to thank all those who welcomed us, and I want to congratulate Uzbekistan U-23 on winning Asian Championship and hope that Uzbekistan will qualify for the next World Cup," he said.
The FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour will visit a total of 91 cities in 51 countries around the world.
“In total of these 51 countries, we are going to 24 countries where the FIFA World Cup hasn’t been, so Uzbekistan is one of those countries.” Karambeu said.
He said they are trying to build excitement ahead of this year’s World Cup.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will kick off on June 14 in Moscow, where hosts Russia will take on Saudi Arabia.