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Uhuru: Our football fortunes not great but we're happy to view W. Cup trophy

President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi, received the 18-carat gold FIFA World Cup trophy from legendary Brazilian footballer Juliano Belleti. [Source, State House]

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday received the 2022 World Cup trophy at State House, Nairobi.

Retired Brazil right-back Juliano Belletti, 45, presented the trophy to the president ahead of public viewing at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi on Friday, May 27.

Belletti was part of the teams that won the 2002 FIFA World Cup and competed at the 2001 Copa América and 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup.

At the club level, he played for Villarreal, Barcelona, Chelsea and Fluminense.

After receiving the trophy, which will be in the country for two days, President Kenyatta said: “It is a moment of honour for Kenya as we receive the World Cup for the fourth time, and is an inspiration to our football fraternity. Even though our national fortunes of football have not been great, it remains the most popular sport in Kenya.

“On behalf of the people of Kenya, it is an honour to be part of 51 countries [that have been chosen as the World Cup trophy destinations]. For being part of this tour, we hope this occasion will inspire us to dream of higher success.”

President Kenyatta posed for photos and videos while lifting the trophy.

The Head of State becomes the first president in Kenya to preside over three public viewings of the trophy – in 2014, 2018 and 2022. In 2010, late President Mwai Kibaki led the country in this exercise.

The 2022 trophy was first exhibited in Dubai on May 12 and is expected to visit 51 countries and 91 cities across the world.

“Former World Cup winners Iker Cassilas [of Spain] and Kaka [of Brazil] came together to send the original FIFA World Cup Trophy on its journey around the world ahead of the tournament later this year,” FIFA said in a statement on May 12.

The 2022 World Cup tournament, which features 32 teams, will be held in Qatar. It is scheduled to start on November 21 and end on December 18.

In the next World Cup tournament (2026), 48 teams will participate in the contest.

The World Cup trophy is made of 18-carat gold with bands of malachite on its base. It stands 36.8 centimetres (14.5 inches) high and weighs 6.1 kilograms.

The trophy was made by Stabilimento Artistico Bertoni company in Italy.

It depicts two human figures holding up the Earth. The current holders of the trophy are France, who won the 2018 World Cup.

The trophy is valued at $20 million (Sh2.3 billion).