Monica Kanyepi, chief executive officer of Marketplace Interventions, the local organisers of the FIFA World Cup Trophy by Coca Cola Tour told reporters on Friday night that only "heads of state and former winners" can touch the iconic trophy.

This will be a disappointment to thousands of local football fans that were hoping to at least get their hands on the 18 carats (75 percent gold) trophy.

“Only heads of states and former winners are allowed to handle the solid gold,” Kanyepi said. “Lucky fans will have the opportunity to have a souvenir photo taken with the trophy.”

At least 3 500 tickets would be made available to football fans to attend this photo session, when the trophy is on public display at the Harare International Conference Centre on November 27.

The trophy route covers 86 countries and will take 225 days to travel, to allow thousands of fans around the globe to see the real solid-gold trophy.

The Trophy Tour begun from the FIFA Headquarters on September 21, 2009 and is expected to reach the host country of South Africa on May 4, 2010.

The total distance the tour will travel is 134,017 kilometers (83,274 miles) or more than three times the circumference of Earth.  The Tour was developed through an exclusive partnership between FIFA and Coca-Cola, a FIFA Partner and one of the organization’s longest-standing corporate partners.

The 2009/10 FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour draws on the huge success of the first global Trophy Tour held in 2006.  In 2006, the tour visited 31 cities in 29 countries, covering 102,570 kilometers (63,734 miles) with millions of fans around the world enjoying the chance to have a closer look at football’s most famous prize.

The authentic, FIFA World Cup trophy is presented to the winning team on the field of play at each tournament.

The iconic trophy measures 36.8 centimetres (14.5 inches) high, weighs in at 6,175 grams (13.61 pounds) and is made of solid, 18-carat gold.  The base contains two layers of semi-precious malachite, while the bottom side of the Trophy bears the engraved year and name of each FIFA World Cup winner since 1974.