Football fans may have to wait quite a few years to see Indonesia host a World Cup or watch their national team lift the trophy in victory.
Now, though, they can at least see the trophy in person.
As part of the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour, the prize coveted by national teams across the globe will be on display Sunday at Assembly Hall in the Jakarta Convention Center from 9-11 a.m. It is the trophy’s second visit to Indonesia and fourth stop on its current tour after India, Vietnam and Thailand.
“It is part of our effort to promote football around the world. We know Indonesia has a big population, which is also football fans. We hope we can inspire more young people through the event,” tour spokeswoman Lingling Liu said on Monday.
Starting its world tour in Kolkata on Jan. 17, the trophy will visit 83 countries in 225 days and cover 138,902 kilometers before arriving in South Africa for the kickoff of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It is scheduled to visit Kuala Lumpur Wednesday once it leaves Jakarta.
After being displayed for media only at the Mulia Hotel, the trophy visited President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the Presidential Palace.
“I hope this trophy can give inspiration and motivation for further football development in Indonesia. I believe that one day Indonesia will qualify for the World Cup,” Yudhoyono said.
Until that day, Indonesian football fans can at least content themselves by watching every World Cup match over the air.
Electronic City Entertainment, which owns the World Cup broadcasting license after securing the rights in 2007, announced in December 2009 that national broadcaster RCTI and Global TV were its television partners for the 2010 tournament. RCTI will air 29 group stage matches live, while Global TV will broadcast 18 matches.
“We’ll also broadcast the opening ceremony, semifinal, final and closing ceremony simultaneously on RCTI and Global TV,” said Yoyon Ukhrawinata, the World Cup project officer of Global TV.
That is in stark contrast to Southeast Asian neighbor Singapore, which is one of the few countries in the world yet to sort out its World Cup broadcast.
A report in the Straits Times newspaper on Jan. 20 said a joint bid between SingTel and StarHub had failed to secure the broadcast rights. If the impasse is not settled, fans will not even be able to see the four free-to-air matches — South Africa vs. Mexico in the opening match on June 11, the semifinals on July 6 and 7 and the final on July 11.
The report said 209 countries had secured broadcast rights, but not Singapore. FIFA reportedly wants $100 million for the rights after charging StarHub $10 million for the 2002 tournament and $15 million in 2006. -JG