Friday, May 13, as opposed to superstitions of ‘Friday – the 13th’ being a bad omen, will be transformed into a day of joy for people in Oman as the iconic FIFA World Cup trophy will arrive in the sultanate and be placed for public viewing as part of the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour.
A statement issued by Oman Football Association said, ‘For the first time in its history, the FIFA World Cup Trophy will come to Oman on May 13. Fans across the sultanate will be able to see the renowned trophy.’ The association urges football fans not to miss the opportunity to get up, close, and personal with the original trophy, and click pictures.
Many football buffs welcomed the announcement and are looking forward to an opportunity to view the original trophy and click selfies with it. Some look at it as an opportunity of a lifetime as the iconic trophy is viewed by fans at close range mostly on television.
Marhoon al Saidi, a private sector employee, said, “Football is an industry now, and the sultanate hosting the trophy is an opportunity for the world to learn about Oman’s civilisation and its archaeological sites. We must take advantage of this opportunity to promote Oman in terms of tourism and the economy by attracting investors and increasing national income.’
Sultan al Rawahi, a private sector employee, said, “I am very happy and excited to see the World Cup Trophy and take photos with it. I hope the concerned authorities take advantage of this opportunity to promote Oman.”
According to Rawahi, Oman should host big ticket sporting and cultural events in the future. “I hope that we will take advantage of the khareef season in Salalah to host a friendly international match – maybe between France and Spain – to promote Omani tourism.”
Ali al Sheyadi, former captain of Suwaiq’s Muntaser, described the tour of the trophy in Oman as a ‘historic moment and evidence of the sultanate’s global standing’. “We must take advantage of this moment to promote Oman,” Sheyadi said.
“Hosting the trophy is recognition of the fact that the sultanate is able to organise big tourism and sports events. The sultanate has already succeeded in organising many world sailing and equestrian championships. I hope we host a major event in football too.”
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will kick off on November 21 at the Al Thumama Stadium when Senegal takes on the Netherlands in a Group A fixture. Thirty-two teams will compete in eight groups.