Ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the trophy tour finally arrived in Nigeria after its kick off in Russia.
There was huge excitement in Abuja as football fans got to see and take pictures with the trophy at a series of events that was organised during the tour.
No one can touch the World Cup trophy
All through these events, the World Cup Trophy was heavily guarded and was placed in a thick glass case.
At the old Parade Ground, Abuja on Thursday excited regular football numbers came in their numbers to see the trophy and take photos with it.
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The fans first queued up, then came in a very orderly way to take photos with the trophy. A printed copy of the photo was then handed to them after.
The fans thereafter were treated to series of entertaining performances from Nigerian singer Simi and popular rapper Ice Prince.
All through these events in Abuja, the trophy was never taken off the glass case except for once, when it visited the State House in Abuja for Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari to touch and hold it.
Buhari is the only Nigerian allowed to touch the trophy because of FIFA guidelines that say that only winners of the tournament and heads of state are allowed to handle the official World Cup Trophy.
FIFA rules stipulate that only a World Cup-winning player, coach, certain FIFA representatives or a head of state can hold the trophy.
That is why Christian Karembeu, who won the World Cup with France in 1998 is part of the trophy tour crew.
Rihanna touches World Cup trophy
In 2014 however, pop star Rihanna ignored these FIFA guidelines and touched the trophy in Brazil.
A known football enthusiast, Rihanna was in Brazil to enjoy the 2014 FIFA World Cup. She was heavily involved all through the tournament in Brazil, attending games and regularly tweeting about matches.
Following Germany’s win in the final over Argentina, Rihanna partied with the players and touched the trophy thereafter.
It was against FIFA guidelines but who cares, this is Rihanna.
Just in case you have been living under a rock, Rihanna is just Rihanna. She gets away with anything.
Throughout the trophy events in Abuja, nobody attempted to touch the trophy. It arrives Lagos on Friday, March 9 with football fans in the city expected to see and take photos with the trophy at an event which will hold at the Tafawa Balewa Square.
But don’t try to touch it. Rihanna got away with it, you won’t.