Sunday, December 20, 2009

20 December 1983 - A Little Lesson In Hubris

On 20 December 1983, unknown thieves stole the Jules Rimet Trophy from the Brazilian Football Association headquarters in Rio. To date, it has not been recovered.

In 1946, the original World Cup trophy was named the Jules Rimet Trophy, after former FIFA President Jules Rimet, who organized the first World Cup tournament. The trophy is awarded to the winning team, but only those teams with three World Cup victories get to take permanent possession. Brazil were the first country to do so, winning their third title in 1970. Since then, both Italy and West Germany have earned permanent trophies as well.

The trophy was stolen before in 1966, just before the start of the tournament in England, but it was found under a garden hedge by a dog named Pickles, whose owner collected a £6,000 reward. The BBC reported that, at the time, Brazilian authorities claimed such a theft would never happen in their own country, as even Brazilian thieves love football too much to steal the trophy.

To replace the trophy stolen in 1983, Kodak of Brazil commissioned a copy which the company donated to the BFA.

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