This is a historical moment for us here in Tonga, and also the very first time a FIFA World Cup Trophy has landed in Tonga, and we are very fortunate to be selected by Coca Cola, the longtime valued partner of FIFA, as one of the destinations of the world tour of this iconic trophy.
The event, held at Queen Salote Memorial Hall was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Honorable Semisi Sika on behalf of the Prime Minister, Honorable Samiuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva that he was not well to attend.
Honorable Semisi Sika said, ”It is an historic moment for the nation where football is growing in popularity.”
“I hope that by witnessing this priceless icon, Tongans will be inspired to embrace football and encourage our Tongan youth players to achieve and strive to reach the World Cup in the years to come.
The Tonga Football Association’s Senior Vice President, Mr. Paula Ma’u representing the Football community to this historical event.
”We are lucky enough to receive it without playing or competing for it, although we all worked so hard for it. Finally it is here in Tonga. And all thanks to FIFA’s sponsor, Coca Cola for its effort”, Ma’u says.
Ma’u added, ”This World Cup Trophy has power in itself. In Tonga, although it is still small here, this cup trophy has built an academy, the facilities, the trainings, the tournaments and so forth for the Tonga Football Association.”
”It has been arranged and built with International standards, and some sporting organizations in Tonga are using our facility including various religious groups, NGOs and so forth. And we are expanding it to include Vava’u very soon, and continue to the other island groups in the near future.”
”With the assistance of FIFA, we are working hard to develop further and improve soccer in Tonga, given that we are not naturally borne to also use our feet as our hands at the same time.”
The World Cup trophy also visited few historical places here in Tonga before they departed.