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Pitch invader lunges at World Cup trophy

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Sun, Jul 11, 2010 20:10 hrs

A well-known Spanish pitch invader ran onto the field at Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium shortly before the teams came out for the World Cup final between the Netherlands and Spain.

The man, who wore a barretina (a traditional red bag-shaped hat worn in parts of Spain), T-shirt and jeans, ran toward the golden World Cup trophy, which was displayed on a pedestal, was intercepted by security guards a metre away from it and wrestled to the pitch.

He was then immediately led away through the passageway in which the teams were waiting.

The fan's T-shirt, which was marked with an anti-racism message on the front and read 'Salta Salta Jimmy Jump' (jump jump Jimmy Jump in Spanish) on the back, identified him as Jaume Marquet Cot, otherwise known as Jimmy Jump, from Sabadell in Spain's Catalonia

region.

Jimmy Jump has a Wikipedia Internet page devoted to his stunts. According to the site, he invaded the pitch at the UEFA Euro 2008 semi-final match between Germany and Turkey in Basel, Switzerland carrying a Tibetan flag and wearing a T-shirt marked 'Tibet is not China.'

During the 2009 men's finals in the French Open, he also apparently accosted eventual winner Roger Federer and tried to place a barretina on his head.

Photographs of his Soccer City exploit also showed him apparently poised to place a barretina on the World Cup.

Only World Cup winners, heads of state and Joseph Blatter, president of football's world governing body FIFA, are allowed to touch the coveted object.

FIFA had kept the trophy at a secret location in a South African vault prior to the biggest game in the world of football.

The original trophy, which was in Brazil's possession after they won it three times, was stolen in 1983 and has never been recovered.

The new FIFA World Cup trophy is 36.5 centimetres tall, made of solid 18-carat gold and weighs 6.175 kilograms.

Designed by Bertoni Milano, it depicts two human figures holding up the Earth. It is usually kept in a custom-made case by Louis Vuitton.

The trophy has 'FIFA World Cup' embossed at its base. Its bottom side bears the engraved year and name of each FIFA World Cup winner since 1974.

According to FIFA regulations, the trophy cannot be won outright. Instead, the winners of the tournament receive a replica, which is gold-plated rather than solid gold.




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