The most famous trophy which signifies dominance in the world’s most popular sport received the royal treatment and then some, when the FIFA World Cup Tour in association with Coca-Cola arrived here Monday morning at Hewanorra International Airport.
The red carpet was literally rolled out for this magnificent trophy not only at the airport, but also at the Governor General’s Official Residence and then at a gala sporting event at the Beausesjour Cricket Ground (BCG), where 2013 Blackheart Champions Gros-Islet went up against a Coca Cola All Star Team and lost on penalty kicks, after a scoreless draw in regulation time.
Following the game there was a cocktail reception ceremony at the Players Pavilion lounge of the BCG with several VIP’s in attendance including Her Excellency, Governor General, Dame Pearlette Louisy; Deputy Prime Minister Phillip J Pierre, other ministers of government; British High Commissioner, Andy Bryce; and of course officials with Coca- Cola along with Du Boulay’s Bottling Company Limited (local agents and distributors of Coca-Cola) and FIFA representatives. The MC for the evening was Sports Personality and well known Cricket Commentator, Joseph “Reds” Perreira.
After welcoming everyone, Director of the St Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB), Louis Lewis said: “The St Lucia Tourist Board would like to endorse and provide its support behind this initiative, because we are constantly in pursuit of initiatives that distinguish us from our competitors. This is a shining example given the fact there are 209 countries associated with FIFA and only 88 were selected for this tour.”
Lewis pointed out that this tour will be used by the SLTB to enhance and promote sports tourism as a special initiative.
General Manager of the Coca-Cola Company in the Caribbean and Venezuela, Jeremy Faa, who has been associated with the company for 17 years, said: “It is still a very special experience being able to visit markets like St Lucia and see how much passion there is and what a privilege it is to be part of this experience. It is a great honour to be here today and for Coca-Cola to be able to bring the trophy to St Lucia.”
It was indeed a proud moment for Managing Director of Du Boulay’s Bottling Company Limited, Dunstan Du Boulay. Throughout the years the company has played a major role in sports in St Lucia through their sponsoring of tennis, cricket and now football.
Addressing the audience Du Boulay said: “It is with the greatest pleasure I welcome you here this evening, to celebrate the first ever appearance of the FIFA World Cup Trophy in St Lucia. This trophy, the most iconic symbol in football has become the most sought after and recognized sports prize in the world. We are very fortunate and privileged to have been selected as one of the destinations to which the trophy will travel, on its way to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.”
While thanking everyone who made the event a success, Du Boulay referred to the occasion as “a momentous and historic event which can only enhance and promote the game even more in St Lucia.”