Beitunia- Al-Ayyam: In a glorious event which was organized by the National Beverage Company Coca-Cola/Cappy (NBC) and the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) yesterday, Zahi Khouri, Chairman of NBC, Mr. Imad al-Hindi, General Manager of NBC. Suzan Shalabi, Deputy President of the PFA, and Honey Thaljieh, Representatives of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), uncovered the World Cup Original Trophy which is placed within a sealed glass box to launch the event of hosting the World Cup Trophy for 3 days in Palestine. This took place in the presence of a group of Palestinian official figures and corporate entities and representative of the Palestinian, Arab, and international media outlets.
The World Cup Trophy lands in Palestine for the second time, as part of its international tour conducted by Coca-Cola Global in anticipation of the FIFA World Cup competitions scheduled to be held in Russia next June. Hosting of the World Cup Original Trophy coincides with the celebrations of NBC 20th Anniversary.
Khouri: The hosting Event coincides with NBC 20th Anniversary celebrations
In his speech, Khouri welcomed the guests and expressed happiness for hosting the World Cup Original Trophy in this large reception and with outstanding organization, and in partnership with the PFA. Khouri said: “together we host the World Cup Trophy at NBC headquarters at Beitunia in an important sports event which we are honored to organize for the second time after being awarded title of "Best World Cup Trophy Tour Activation” as part of the 2013 Global Marketing & Commercial Excellence Awards.
Khouri added: “Such event which coincides with our celebrations of NBC 20th Anniversary is harmonious with the Palestinian people who are passionate about life, sports, and leadership notwithstanding all the hardships we are going through. Our men and women athletes continue their relentless pursuit to achieve glory and triumph in different sports like every Palestinian in every position in Palestine and abroad continue attaining achievements in all the economic, scientific, literary, and cultural, and other fields”.
Khouri cherished the role performed by the PFA, led by Major General Jibril Rajoub, for devoting attention to the Palestinian sports, development of the Palestinian football, and devoting attention to the local clubs and the national team which scored many achievements at the regional and international levels. He also extended thanks to the FIFA for their permanent support of the Palestinian football sport and for embracing the football sport worldwide. He also valued the attention devoted by Coca-Cola Global to organize the tour around the world and granting Palestine the longest period to host the Trophy in recognition of the Palestinian fans who love football. He extended thanks to NBC for the outstanding organization to host the Trophy in its headquarters in Beitunia.
Shalabi: The Event asserts Palestine’s position on the Global Sports Map
In her speech on behalf of Major General Jibril Rajoub, President of the PFA, who is travelling abroad, Shalabi expressed her happiness and pride for hosting the World Cup original Trophy in Palestine for the second time as the first time was in 2013 which was a part of the World Cup global tour to prepare for the previous FIFA World Cup Championship in 2014. She asserted the importance of this occasion on the national and sport levels.
Shalabi indicated that this event is important because it asserts Palestine’s position on the global sports map and the prestigious standing attained by the Palestinian sports in general and the Palestinian football sport in particular among the countries. She noted that such event takes place after the important historical achievement attained by Palestine as the first national team ranked the 75th standing worldwide, the 7th standing in Asia, and the 6th standing in the Arab region according to the FIFA world ranking of the national teams. Further, the Palestinian Olympic team ranked the 6th standing in Asia according to the ranking made by the Asian Football Confederation.
Shalabi said: “the unprecedented rising of the Palestinian sports in general and football in particular owes much to many factors which combined to push the Palestinian football sport from the state of tentative participation to compete with the best. The attention and support provided on the political level, especially from President Mahmoud Abbas, and the efforts exerted by the PFA, led by Major General Jibril Rajoub and the directions issued by Dr. Rami Hamdallah, Prime Minister, to support the sports rising contributed to providing the proper environment for the first national team and the Palestinian Olympic team so that both teams can take off in the regional and continental championships and reach advanced ranks.
Shalabi valued the attention devoted by the FIFA to the development of the Palestinian football sport and achievements and following up on the PFA’s efforts toward the development of the Palestinian football sport. She considered this attention at the international level as a solid proof of the achievements attained by Palestine on the sporting level internationally. She also praised NBC’s commitment to host the World Cup original edition in Palestine for 3 days which emphasizes the importance of Palatine’s standing in the sports domain worldwide.
Mr. al-Hindi: Palestine is one of 50 countries hosting the Tour
On his part, Mr. Imad al-Hindi extended thanks to the PFA, led by Major General Jibril Rajoub. He said that NBC cherishes the active partnership with the PFA in the various sports forums and events. He commended the significant and remarkable achievements attained by the Palestinian football sport in the recent years.
Mr. al-Hindi expressed happiness because NBC received thousands of people who won a chance to see the Trophy up close and take memorial photos. He praised the efforts of Coca-Cola Global which conducts the World Cup tour every season. He affirmed that choosing Palestine as one of the selected stops of the Trophy with other 50 countries and having the privilege of hosting the Trophy for three days is something to be proud of and it establishes a prestigious Palestinian sport with the efforts of all the sporting associations and local clubs.
Mr. al-Hindi said he is proud of hosting the World Cup Trophy at the same time of celebrating the 20th anniversary of NBC which boosts its achievements and asserts the Palestinian private sector’s ability to continue the building and development efforts despite the tough conditions. He affirmed that the 20th Anniversary of NBC is another take off for the company toward more achievements and introduction of diverse premium quality products that suit the taste of the Palestinian consumers in addition to further social and development contributions in partnership with different official, non-government, and community organizations.
On her part, Honey Thaljieh expressed happiness for coming to Palestine with the FIFA delegate to participate in the hosting celebrations. She spoke highly of the outstanding organization of the World Cup global tour conducted by Coca-Cola Global and the magnificent organization by NBC to host the Trophy in its headquarters at Ramallah. Thaljieh also noted FIFA’s commitment to support the Palestinian football sport which achieved remarkable progress recently, in addition to FIFA’s attention to support the football sport in the Arab region as a whole.
In the end of the ceremony, Zahi Khouri and Mr. Imad al-Hindi invited the guests to take photos with the World Cup original Trophy which is the second global edition awarded by the FIFA since 1974 as the biggest award for the winners of the “World Cup” championship”. The World Cup Trophy is made of 18-carat gold (5 kg) with a marble base.
Thousands of people get the opportunity to take memorial photos with the Trophy
[Photo caption: Two kids show their ticket to take memorial photos with the Trophy]
Palestine hosted the Word Cup Trophy at the NBC headquarters at Beitunia during the period 17-19 February, which is the longest period allowed to host the World Cup Trophy. Palestine is also the first Arab country to receive the Trophy on its land, and then it will take off from Ramallah to Amman and then to Dubai to continue its global tour before it finally lands in Russia which hosts the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The rally of winners of the draw organized to take memorial photos with the World Cup Trophy flocked to NBC headquarters which received thousands of people throughout the 3-day hosting event. Further, members and representatives of the local clubs and teams as well as the educational and community organizations flocked to the event.
NBC gave thousands of sports fans of all age groups the opportunity to register their names on a special website to be qualified for a random draw to win a chance to take a photo with the Trophy, as part of NBC’s dedication to organize the reception of thousands of delegates and persons in its headquarters to see the Trophy up close and to take memorial photos.