HomeStoriesThe day the World Cup trophy was stolen…again

The day the World Cup trophy was stolen…again

December 20, 2016

This day in football history

On 20 December 1983, 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 was awarded to the winning team, but only those teams with three World Cup victories got 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 once 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.

The 1983 theft was orchestrated by Sérgio Pereira Ayres, a banker who claimed also to be an agent for Clube Atlético Mineiro (which the club denies). The two others, Francisco Rivera and José Luiz Vieira, were convicted along with Pereira, but both fled soon afterward. Of the three, only Pereira served jail time for the theft. The trophy itself has never been located, with some theories suggesting it was melted down.

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




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