Switzerland is blessed to be home of the largest sporting organisations in the world, such as the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). International football's governing body is the organizer of global tournaments including the World Cup. Take a journey into the many incredible memories of this tournament and the continuing evolution of world football at the FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich.
FIFA supports its own museum, which provides Zurich with one of the most incredible sports museums anywhere in the world. Their exhibitions (permanent and temporary) provide a lasting sporting narrative and legacy for all citizens and creeds. It is also creates a unique events venue that has mass appeal. Ramy Salameh shares his experience of visiting the ‘FIFA World Football Museum’ and his top picks from what he saw:
- Without doubt a spine-tingling moment is getting up close and personal with the original FIFA World Cup trophy, which is a global ‘celebrity’ in its own right and instantly recognisable anywhere on the planet. The "FIFA World Cup Trophy", was introduced in 1974. Made of 18 carat gold with bands of malachite on its base, it stands 36.8 centimetres high and weighs 6.1 kilograms. The true centrepiece of the museum from which exciting reminders of every World Cup and Women’s World Cup are showcased in every direction. During my visit the Women’s World Cup trophy was in the hands of the USA team having been victorious at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, France.
- There are many emotive exhibits from the 1000+ on show commemorating and celebrating the rich heritage of football and its global appeal. However, one exhibit caught my attention as it was a message penned on the back of an envelope, which simply read ‘Thank You’ in Russian. During the last World Cup in Russia, the Japanese National Football Team had just been knocked-out of the tournament by Belgium, yet they left their dressing room spotlessly clean and this poignant note. No wonder this simple exhibit with a powerful message of sportsmanship made its way into the museum!
- Known as ‘The Rainbow’, a horse-shoe shaped glass cabinet features football shirts representing all 211 Member Associations. It is one of the first incredible sites to greet visitors at the start of their tour. This is a visible means to show the game’s unique ability to, as FIFA propagates, ‘Connect and inspire’ people from around the world.
- The FIFA World Football Museum has an excellent multimedia and interactive section which has an educational and entertainment spin to it. As with most modern museums these days, it is all about immersing yourself and getting absorbed in the narrative. The FIFA World Football Museum creates this platform so well by expressing the true excitement and love for the ‘beautiful game’. So delve into the gaming area through a giant football pinball, various sonic pods or get transported to the greatest moments of from many world cups via the 180⁰ cinema screen.
- Fans make football and the museum’s ‘memory Jars’ are all about preserving unique pieces of history collected by fans of the game and rightly has a devoted section. I want to share my own world Cup story from the 2002 Tournament with the museum. Having partied with the Republic of Ireland squad in Seoul ahead of their crunch match with Spain, I was given Shay Given’s baseball squad cap by Jason McAteer and I featured in the 2002 World Cup souvenir edition of Four Four Two Magazine. I hope one day this ends up in one of the museum’s memory jars!