The 2018 World Cup has kicked off in Russia.
For the next month, teams from around the world will battle it out on the football pitch. And because of one company in China, fans can get a piece of the action.
CGTN’s Frances Kuo explains.
It’s the biggest prize in football. And only a select few can get their hands on the coveted World Cup trophy.
“I think it is the most beautiful trophy in the world!” said fan Wang Boqian.
Only a select few can get their hands on the coveted World Cup Trophy.
But die-hard fans need not despair: thanks to a factory in southeast China, they can get their own version.
Wagon International Group is busy churning out tens of thousands of replica World Cup trophies and other souvenirs.
This is no black-market company.
Wagon was given certification from FIFA, the football international governing body, to sell its World Cup merchandise to most markets around the world.
As part of its certification, Wagon has to follow strict rules on the makeup of the trophy replicas.
“All Replica World Cups must be limited to 15cm in height,” said Perry Chou, Vice President of Wagon International Co. “In other words, all cup replicas higher than 15cm in markets are definitely fake products that haven’t been certified by FIFA. Secondly, they must be a certain weight. Thirdly, gold must be involved in the electroplating. So within these rules, we are very careful to meet FIFA’s demands on the Cup design each time we send our designs to FIFA for review.”
Factory workers in the southern city of Dongguan take at least three days of filing, polishing, heating and decorating to finish the pieces. Some can cost up to nearly $900.
The company predicts sales will jump by 10 percent from the last World Cup for years ago, about a quarter coming from the China region.
Dong Jun discusses football in China
CGTN’s Mike Walter talks with Dong Jun, sports podcaster of Ei China Limited, about football in China.