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World Cup trophy inspires Ethiopian youth

'Sewunet Bishaw Football academy' trainees participate in different activities as they wait to see the World Cup trophy. (Photo by Haileegziabher Adhanom)
by Haileegziabher Adhanom, AIPS Young Reporter, Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA, February, 28, 2018 - With the 2018 World Cup in Russia on the horizon, the World Cup trophy touched down in Ethiopia. The iconic cup has been on the road since early September as part of the traditional global FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour. Addis Ababa was just one of ten African capitals to welcome the trophy.

President Dr. Mulatu Teshome, who, as a head of state is allowed to ‘lift’ the trophy per FIFA protocol, hosted the welcoming ceremony at the national palace. “In a country where most of its population is young and wildly in love with football, the visit of this coveted trophy is so important to ignite the rue of the youth to work hard and take our country to the world cup for the first time in its history. In the meantime the government will continue its unwavering support to develop the Sport in many aspects,” said the president in his keynote speech.

The trophy was also displayed at the Hilton Addis Ababa hotel for public viewing. There was a slice of history to take home for those lucky 4000 individuals, who could lay their eyes on the trophy, take pictures and ponder the event of a lifetime.

Kids, youngsters and academy trainees, often accompanied by their supportive parents, were inspired by the trophy visit in the Ethiopian capital. Parents, speaking to AIPS, expressed their praise for football’s governing body and the organizers over the event as a source of inspiration for their offspring, allowing children to dream of bringing home the trophy one day.

This is the second time the World Cup Trophy Tour passed by in Ethiopia. When Africa hosted the showpiece event in 2010, the trophy also visited Ethiopia. The trophy’s sacred status and Ethiopians love for the beautiful game can be the X-factor to motivate the Ethiopian youth to work hard, towards the realization of everyone’s dream in the country, which is to watch their country play in a World Cup for the first time.

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