World Cup trophy touches down in Johannesburg

South Africa’s first female Sports and Recreation minister, Thokozile Xasa made her first public appearance at the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour on Thursday afternoon.

The Fifa world cup trophy is in Johannesburg for its leg of the world tour. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG- South Africa’s first female Sports and Recreation Minister Thokozile Xasa made her first public appearance at the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour on Thursday afternoon.

The coveted solid-gold trophy that will be presented to the winners of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia arrived in Johannesburg for the South African leg of its world tour as part of the build-up to soccer's golden event.

Xasa spoke about how the country should support all African teams that are participating in the showpiece, which attracts the interest of more than 3 billion people around the globe.

Since the World Cup Trophy Tour’s inception in 2006, the trophy has arrived on South African shores every touring year – with this year’s stop coinciding with the centenary celebrations for former president Nelson Mandela.

SAFA President Danny Jordaan says he is honoured that the minister’s first appearance as sports minister is at a football-related event.

Along with reminiscing about seeing the trophy with Nelson Mandela, Jordaan spoke about the possibilities of having South Africa in the 2026 FIFA World Cup which will feature 48 teams, rather than 32.

Also in attendance was South African Hip-Hop artist Cassper Nyovest who, along with Jason Derulo, created the soundtrack for the 2018 showcase. Nyovest says the song – entitled Colours – is a celebration of racial diversity across the globe.

The trophy will be on display at Maponya Mall on Friday 2 March from 10am, before moving to Cape Town on Saturday, where it will be displayed at the Kenilworth Mall from 10am.

The PPC Newlands Stadium will thereafter host a concert featuring many Nyovest who will perform the World Cup anthem. Jason Pascoe and Ricky Rik are expected to open for Mr. Fill up.

The trophy will fly to Kampala, Uganda, for the next leg of the tour.