‘FIFA trophy will encourage local football talent in Pakistan’


ٖ—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: French FIFA World Cup winner Christian Karembeu said Saturday he was happy to be sharing in the historic stopover of the FIFA World Cup trophy in Pakistan, as he and others landed here earlier today on the trophy tour.

In an exclusive interview with a private news channel upon his arrival in Lahore, Karembeu, who was part of the French team which won the World Cup in 1998, said today marks a big day for football in Pakistan.

“It’s a big day for football in Pakistan. [I am] here in Pakistan to prove that football unites the world,” said the former star.

Karembeu accompanied the trophy to Pakistan along with former cricket captain Younis Khan, singers Quratulain Baloch, Momina Mustehsan, actor Maya Ali and other celebrities on a special chartered flight from Thailand.

The FIFA World Cup 2018 trophy will remain in Lahore for a day, on its global journey across 91 cities in 51 countries and six continents. The trophy will return to host nation Russia in May ahead of the World Cup.

Karembeu said he aims to promote football in Pakistan during the trophy tour. “Cricket is more popular here, but there is definitely room for football here. This [trophy] tour will also encourage local football talent here.”

The 47-year-old urged football fans in Pakistan to never stop dreaming and aiming high.

“Continue to dream, be persistent with your goals. How else will you achieve your dreams?” he said.

Karembeu said he was pleased to find out La Liga matches are aired live on channels in Pakistan.

He also expressed hope that France will win the World Cup this year, after a gap of 20 years.

—File Photo

—File Photo

Here is the official picture tweeted by COCA COLA: