The UEFA European Championship trophy is going on the road in Portugal ahead of this summer's finals.
The coveted Henri Delaunay trophy was unveiled in a ceremony conducted by Gilberto Madaíl, Euro 2004 S.A. chairman, in the Praça do Comércio in Lisbon, one of the country's most famous plazas, before embarking on a countrywide UEFA EURO 2004™ trophy tour. Eusébio, the former Portuguese international and EURO 2004™ ambassador attended the ceremony and presented Lisbon town councillor José António Moreira Marques with the Roteiro, the official EURO 2004™ ball.
The trophy tour begins in the capital and will take in 20 Portuguese towns and cities before the finals get under way on 12 June. Members of the public will also be able to meet Kinas, the tournament's official mascot. A special truck has been designed to transport the Henri Delaunay trophy from place to place.
Fun and games
There will be other activities during the tour, such as film exhibitions and promotional videos about the history of the European Championship. One of the tour's attractions will be the games arenas where people can demonstrate their football skills. Other activities taking place include contests, games, music and the chance to win tickets for a number of EURO 2004™ matches.
Madaíl said the tour was indicative of the planning that had gone into this year's championship. "This is one of the initiatives that reflects the excellent organisation of EURO 2004™ and it has a huge importance because it brings the tournament to the people," he said. Marques said: "The Praça do Comércio is the right place to launch this event. Five hundred years after the caravels discovered the world, this place is now kicking off the trophy tour."
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