The tour, organised by one of the tournament’s long-standing sponsors, Coca-Cola, will see the iconic trophy taken to 51 countries on six continents.
It wasn’t fully explained at the press launch why Phuket was the sole destination in Thailand to host the tour, but it just goes to prove how popular our little island is.
At 46 years of age, the thought that one day I would actually get up close to such an iconic item had never crossed my mind. To be honest, I never even dreamt I would ever get to see it in real life, let alone get close to it.
So imagine the impact this has had on my seven-year-old son and the thousands of people who attended Central Festival – a very wide age group of both men and women – to get a glimpse of, and their photo taken with, the World Cup.
But what surprised me when news was posted on media outlets that the trophy was here was one particular comment; “You mean the Coca Cola PR Tour with a hasbeen player and a cup replica”.
Thankfully this comment wasn’t made on The Phuket News’ story related to this event, we all know our readers would never be so negative.
Yes, perhaps it was a Coca-Cola PR Tour, but a pretty good one promoting one of the world’s most followed sporting events. Kudos to Coca-Cola for bringing the trophy to Phuket.
The reference to a “hasbeen” player, maybe the commentator meant “has-been”, was connected to Christian Karembeu who brought the cup to Phuket.
A Google search will tell you what this man achieved in his footballing career, including being a member of the World Cup-winning 1998 French national team. A “hasbeen”, no; a retired footballer, yes.
This event was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many, so to make such a negative comment about such an event, which, by the way saw, also saw B1 million donated to help support local youngsters’ dreams of being professional footballers, is unreal, but hey, as the saying goes, “there’s always one”.
With regards to the commentator’s claims that it was a replica cup, we should all know how defamation laws work here in Thailand, so we’ll leave that in the hands of Coca-Cola’s lawyers.