The iconic FIFA World Cup trophy on Saturday went on display in Lahore after arriving in Pakistan for the first time in a chartered plane from Bangkok, Thailand.
France’s World Cup-winning former footballer Christian Karembeu accompanied the trophy on the Pakistan leg of its World Tour.
“Assalam-o-Alaikum!” Karembeu, who played for France and Real Madrid in a glittering playing career greeted the gathered audience with. “I am extremely happy to be here in Lahore. Pakistan also has football-loving folks.
“It is a great honour for Pakistan that the FIFA trophy is here for the first time.
“We can make our future better through football.”
Cricket legend Younis Khan, national men’s football team captain Kaleemullah Khan and women’s football team skipper Hajra and several showbiz personalities were also present at the trophy’s unveiling ceremony in Lahore.
“For me, football is one of the most popular sports in the world,” said Younis. “It is a really big deal that the FIFA trophy is here.”
An ecstatic Kaleemullah said: “I had never even imagined that the FIFA trophy would come to Pakistan. It is encouraging for footballers to have the FIFA trophy come to Pakistan. I feel that one day Pakistan would also do well in football.”
The trophy will be returned back to Bangkok tonight at 12pm.