Northern Ireland

World Cup in NI for Shooting for Socrates film premiere

World Cup in Belfast
Image caption The World Cup was brought down the red carpet for the Shooting for Socrates premiere

The World Cup has come to Northern Ireland for the first time.

The famous trophy was brought to Belfast for the gala premiere of a film that heavily features Northern Ireland's match against Brazil in the Mexico 1986 World Cup.

Shooting for Socrates tells the underdog story of a father and son who are Northern Ireland fans, set against the backdrop of the team's World Cup exploits.

One of the driving forces behind the film is footballer David Campbell, who made his international debut in the match in front of 50,000 people in the searing heat of Guadalajara, Mexico.

Image caption David Campbell had to wear white gloves to handle the World Cup
Image caption Northern Ireland took on Brazil in the Mexico 1986 World Cup

He said the film has been four years in the making, and having the World Cup trophy in Belfast for the premiere is "a dream come true".

"It's very special that Fifa have allowed this to happen," he says.

The cup, which will be presented to the winning team in Russia in 2018, was brought by Fifa vice president Jim Boyce from Zurich to his home city.

Mr Boyce said Fifa president Sepp Blatter deserves much of the credit for the trophy's visit.

"When David first wrote to Fifa, they turned down the request," he said.

"I went to Sepp Blatter, I explained what was happening and he immediately said 'the World Cup has to come to Belfast'."

Many of the original Northern Ireland 1986 squad attended the Belfast Film Festival event at the Waterfront Hall, including captain Sammy McIlroy who said it was "a fantastic effort to get to where we are tonight".

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