>> The 2018 Russian World Cup is less than two months away, and this factory in Southeast China is churning out merchandise. It takes at least three days of filing, polishing, and decorating to transform hunks of zinc alloy into a replica of soccer's biggest prize, the FIFA World Cup Trophy.
>> All replica World Cups must be limited to 15 centimeters in height. Any higher than that are definitely fake products that haven't been certified by FIFA.>> The factory's operator Wagon Group takes strict rules on weight, height and how much of the trophy is made of gold, very seriously.
The company says it took years of talks with FIFA, an application, and an undisclosed fee to be certified to sell Russia World Cup trophies. This is all happening as trade tensions rise between China and the U.S. under President Donald Trump. However, the company thinks that passion for the game from hardcore fans will shelter them from the pain of potential U.S. tariffs.
>> I think it is the most beautiful trophy in the world. Every World Cup year, ever since 1998, for each one, I have put replica gold trophy.>> For now at an official FIFA store in Beijing, its mascots are the big sellers. But they think trophies will pick up closer to kick off in Russia, some of the biggest replicas with the price tag of nearly $900 U.S.