Colombian President welcomes FIFA trophy

Bogota, Jan 29: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos welcomed the FIFA World Cup trophy at the Presidential Palace in Bogota (Casa de Narino) Tuesday where he expressed his optimism about Colombia’s participation in the event to be held in Brazil this summer.

Santos said that football is a national sentiment which can be shown in the support offered to Radamel Falcao, Colombia’s star football player who suffered an injury on his left knee while playing for Europe’s AS Monaco against Chasselay.

Santos visited Falcao after his operation last Saturday in Portugal to offer support on behalf of all Colombians, according to Semana magazine website.

“We are united by football because it fills us with optimism. Our stars have also given us a sense of pride as Falcao himself did. When I greeted him and asked how he felt he answered me ‘optimistic’,” said Santos.

The Colombian President expressed confidence that Colombians will be motivated by the trophy which will stay in Colombia for two days at Bogota’s El Campin stadium.

“I hope that within the next 48 hours – the Cup will be here for 48 hours – Colombians observe it and feel that we are a great nation and that we will play a big role in that great championship in Brazil, and there we will be,” added Santos.

The FIFA trophy, designed by Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, is on a world tour known as the ‘Trophy Tour’, starting from Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) Sep 12 last year.

So far, it has travelled over 149,000 kilometers, and in total it will visit 88 countries or regions during its 267-day expedition, according to FIFA’s official website.

IANS