Beckenbauer admits to minor World Cup hitches

7th December 2005, Comments 0 comments

7 December 2005, LEIPZIG - The head of the local organising committee of the 2006 World Cup, Franz Beckenbauer, on Wednesday said he accepted there were minor problems in organising the event but was very confident that things were well on track.

7 December 2005

LEIPZIG - The head of the local organising committee of the 2006 World Cup, Franz Beckenbauer, on Wednesday said he accepted there were minor problems in organising the event but was very confident that things were well on track.

"I know there are some problems with ticketing, but then the stadiums could not be big enough to hold as many people as the stadium would need to take to satisfy the huge demand for tickets."

Committee vice president Horst R. Schmidt said they were very aware that there was dissatisfaction with the ticketing question.

"Immediately after the draw on Friday we will start to look at the situation again. We will then know which countries are playing in which stadium and that will help us organise things. Some countries will want more than the eight per cent of tickets for their matches they are entitled to, while others will want less. We need to look at these issues."

Schmidt added that the question of tickets will also become clearer once official partners start returning tickets that they do not need.

"We are already receiving tickets back from the hospitality programme. That is not a problem, as they were given a lot of tickets."

It is estimated that 100,000 tickets will be returned from this programme alone.

Schmidt said that the organising committee was satisfied with their financial forecasts for the event. "We are well on course with our predictions, even though of course we do not have all the money in the bank yet. We have to make 200 million euros from ticket sales and even though there is a huge demand, that is not such an easy task."

Beckenbauer, who announced that he was continuing his welcome tour with a visit to Africa next week, said that the organising committee also needed to address the question of stadium security.

"There have been recent incidents in Bundesliga games that have shown we need to look at this. We will do even more to address that issue," he told a press conference in Leipzig ahead of Friday's draw for next year's finals.

Over the last few weeks there have been a number of incidents of crowd trouble at league matches and on the weekend a Bundesliga game had to be postponed after officials declared the roof in the Kaiserslautern stadium to be unsafe.

Schmidt, who is responsible for security, said though that he was confident that the issue of security would be sorted out "there are not many events of such magnitude that can say so far in advance that all the stadiums will be ready and of the highest standard when the competition starts.

"After the draw we will also look at the question of security in and around the stadiums. We will look at where England and the Netherlands are staying and we need to look at the security surrounding their matches," he said.

Another organising committee vice-president, Wolfgang Niersbach, said that the interest shown in the draw ceremony was huge. "The interest from the media is gigantic, we have more accredited journalists than we can accommodate in the hall, all national coaches excepting for (Argentina's) Jose Pekerman will be present and the number of dignitaries attending is impressive."

Asked to comment on criticisms that the president of the world controlling body FIFA, Joseph Blatter made earlier in the week, Beckenbauer said he had not yet had an opportunity of addressing the issue with Blatter.

"I think Blatter gave us a plus two mark though, which for German schools is very good (1 is the highest grade). I for one would have been happy to receive such a mark and of course we will be aiming for an excellent, and I am confident that we will get it, but at the moment I am happy with a plus two."

DPA

Subject: German news

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