Thu, Feb

LEGENDARY German footballer Franz "Kaiser" Beckenbauer will be making a one-day visit to Trinidad and Tobago on February 20 with the FIFA World Cup.

Beckenbauer, the chairman of the Germany 2006 World Cup Organising Committee, will be here on the Coca Cola-sponsored World Cup Trophy Tour.

The visit was originally carded for February 17, but dates of the tour were rescheduled when Beckenbauer postponed the trip due to the death of his mother.

The trophy will be available for public viewing from 3-9 pm at the Dr Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence, Tunapuna.

Coca-Cola is the official sponsor of both the game’s governing body FIFA and the World Cup Trophy Tour. As a promotional venture (Text to COKE promotion), customers have been encouraged to text the code found under the caps of a 20-ounce Coca Cola bottle to 2653 in order to win a ticket to view the trophy.

Winners will be specially treated at the event and have the opportunity to have their photos taken with the trophy.

The lucky football fans will also see a specially created short feature film — produced using the latest 3-D technology — that precedes the unveiling of the World Cup. There will also be other initiatives, organised by the Coca-Cola, for the local fans.

The Coca-Cola 2006 FIFA World Cup International Flag Bearers Youth Programme will cater for local teenagers, between the ages of 12-16, to go to Germany as official national flag bearers.

They will be joined by teenagers from all over the globe as well as hundreds of German teens to comprise a "Flag Team" contingent that will carry the national flags at all the World Cup matches.

The company, via the World Cup promotions, will be giving fans the chance to win exciting World Cup premium prizes and, after the tournament, consumers and customers can also earn pieces of authentic memorabilia, including the Adidas match balls used at the competition.

According to information from the FIFA website, the current trophy cannot be won outright, as the regulations state that it shall remain FIFA’s possession. The World Cup winners retain it until the next tournament and are awarded a replica, gold-plated rather than solid gold.

The new trophy is 36 centimetres high, made of solid 18-carat gold and weighs 4,970 grammes. The base contains two layers of semi-precious malachite and has room for 17 small plaques bearing the name of the winners — space enough for the World Champions up to the year 2038.