President Ramotar has the honour of becoming first Guyanese leader to lift FIFA trophy
Georgetown, GINA, October 30, 2013
President Donald Ramotar made history as the first Guyanese Head of State to hold the golden Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) World Cup trophy and saw it as “the casting of shadows” for Guyana’s national team, the Golden Jaguars to one day lift the coveted prize as football world champions.
At a gala event in a brightly lit, well decorated, security tight section of Thirst Park, President Ramotar and FIFA Representative Dwight Yorke unveiled the 18 karat gold trophy that will be lifted by the World Cup tournament champions which neighbouring Brazil will be hosting next year.
President Donald Ramotar lifts the coveted FIFA World Cup trophy during a gala event at Thirst Park
As he welcomed the trophy, the Head of State said he was encouraged by the unifying spirit which football and other popular sports, particularly cricket in the Caribbean engenders the world over.
Its popularity among the youth population and ability to keep them meaningfully occupied, physically fit and away from unlawful activities like illegal drugs is another reason President Ramotar said promotion of the sport is crucial.
“It is a very important game because it helps to teach us teamwork and success coming from working as a team… in a world that is facing so many problems and wars in some areas; there is definite need to find activities to bring people together. So far sports has proven that is has the capacity to do so,” President Ramotar said.
President Donald Ramotar proudly lifts the FIFA World Cup trophy in the presence of Government and football officials
The Guyana Government is committed to the development of sport and the dedication of an entire Ministry, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport has been a symbol of that commitment, President Ramotar said.
Football in particular has advanced to a level where Guyana’s Golden Jaguars are competing at the international level and defeated top ranking teams like Trinidad and Tobago’s Soca Warriors in the World Cup qualifiers.
Guyana is the 27th nation that the trophy has sojourned and Yorke, who captained the Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors and has been accompanying the trophy along the historic tour. He used the occasion to present a replica to President Ramotar this evening.
As he delivered remarks, he chronicled his career as a footballer from humble beginnings in Trinidad and Tobago to playing for Manchester United, a professional football club in the United Kingdom. Earlier today he had an opportunity to meet and interact with Guyanese youths on football.
President Donald Ramotar joins FIFA Representative Dwight Yorke (second from left) Minister of Culture Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony, Brazilian Ambassador to Guyana Luis Gilberto Seixes de Andrade, Coco-Cola Representative Hector Mantellini (right) and Chairman of Banks DIH Limited, Clifford Reis, next to the FIFA World Cup trophy
He said people the world over are overjoyed at the sight of the trophy at every destination it reaches. Guyana is among 20 territories within the Caribbean Region where the trophy will be visiting for the first time.
Among those delivering remarks at this evening’s gala ceremony were Chairman of Banks DIH Limited, Clifford Reis, Brazilian Ambassador Luis Gilberto Seixes de Andrade and Coco-Cola Representative Hector Mantellini.
The FIFA world cup trophy arrived in Guyana this morning in the ongoing nine-month tour ahead of the World Cup tournament in Brazil next year.
Travelling in the Coco Coal branded airplane, the trophy has so far toured Costa Rica, Fiji, Vanuatu and Tahiti in the South Pacific before commencing the Caribbean leg of the journey.
Its 89 – country tour, including 34 member associations from the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) is unprecedented.