FIFA meant no insult by scrapping World Cup gala

23rd January 2006, Comments 0 comments

23 January 2006, BERLIN - The world governing football body FIFA did not aim to insult hosts Germany when it cancelled a World Cup opening gala, FIFA spokesman Markus Siegler said in a news report published Sunday.

23 January 2006

BERLIN - The world governing football body FIFA did not aim to insult hosts Germany when it cancelled a World Cup opening gala, FIFA spokesman Markus Siegler said in a news report published Sunday.

"It is very important for me to point out that the FIFA decision was not meant as an insult to Germany and Berlin. We can understand the disappointment," Siegler told Der Tagesspiegel.

FIFA called off the event originally set for June 7 in Berlin's Olympic stadium on January 13, saying there was too much risk in laying out a new lawn after the gala ahead of the first game on June 13.

The announcement was followed by an outcry with some saying FIFA considered the 25-million-euro event too expensive, others saying that FIFA did not like the ideas of the gala's director Andre Heller, and reports about slow ticket sales as well.

Siegler admitted that "one can accuse us of having not reached this conclusion earlier."

Siegler reiterated said that FIFA had swiftly given Berlin 1 million euros to stage an opening event at the Brandenburg Gate. He also said FIFA planned to invite all volunteers originally set to work at the opening gala.

DPA

Subject: German news

0 Comments To This Article