YEREVAN.- Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan participated in the solemn ceremony of receiving FIFA World Cup Trophy at the National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet after A. Spendiarian on Wednesday. The President arrived at the place of the ceremony with his footballer-lover grandchild, little Serzh, the press service of the Armenian President’s Office reported.
In line with the protocol according to which during the World Cup Trophy Tour the Head of State and the FIFA World Cup Champions receive it in the host country, President Sargsyan received the trophy from Christian Karembeu, a 1998 FIFA World Cup Champion from France national team.
This is the 4th international tour of the most valuable football prize, which will last 220 days and will cover over 50 countries. Armenia is among the 24 states where the trophy will arrive for the first time.
At the end of the ceremony FIFA representative Lucas Rakhov presented Serzh Sargsyan with the small duplicate of the golden cup on behalf of FIFA, and the Ambassador of Brazil to Armenia Agemar de Mendonça Sanctos handed to Serzh Sargsyan a football T-shirt sent by legendary footballer Pelé with his autograph.
The President gave a speech during the ceremony, where he referred to the most renowned Armenian footballer Henrikh Mkhitaryan. “It’s not by accident that football stars have hundreds of millions of fans. And we enjoy those people; they raise the awareness of their countries. Of course, football is not politicized, but those people in some sense are involved in politics. We know this very well by the example of our Henrikh Mkhitaryan. I am convinced that at least at the moment there is no second person that can raise the awareness of our country to the extent Mkhitaryan does. We of course wish success to Henrikh. I am sure most of people here have watched the last match, the entry of Henrikh to “Arsenal”. I think it was a success. I am sure this is the start of his new carrier. I want Henrikh to know that we all wish him success and that we are with him by our hearts and souls and he still has much to do”, President Sargsyan said in his speech.