FIFA will run inauguralWorld Cup pre-event show
8 October 2004 , BERLIN - World football's governing body, FIFA, will hold an event to mark the opening of the 2006 World Cup in Germany on the eve of the opening game the organisations's president, Sepp Blatter, announced. Blatter said such events would be held at each World Cup, starting with the 2006 competition. The statement came after Blatter and German interior minister Otto Schily signed the deal for a pre-event for 8 June 2006, in Berlin's Olympic stadium. The next day, 9 June, a short ceremony wi
8 October 2004
BERLIN - World football's governing body, FIFA, will hold an event to mark the opening of the 2006 World Cup in Germany on the eve of the opening game the organisations's president, Sepp Blatter, announced.
Blatter said such events would be held at each World Cup, starting with the 2006 competition.
The statement came after Blatter and German interior minister Otto Schily signed the deal for a pre-event for 8 June 2006, in Berlin's Olympic stadium.
The next day, 9 June, a short ceremony will be held in Munich's stadium followed by the first match of the tournament which runs until 9 July 2006.
In the past there was only one ceremony ahead of the opening match.
Pre-shows were also held 1998 in France and 2002 in South Korea, but the German government planned such an event in a World Cup stadium for the first time, reportedly drawing objections from FIFA.
Under Thursday's agreement, FIFA takes over the EUR 22 million budget originally set aside by the government, but at the same time can generate a large income from marketing and other rights.
The show, similar to Olympic opening ceremonies a day before the competition starts, is to feature international show top acts such as British pop star Robbie Williams and American rapper Eminem.
It is organised by Austrian artist Andre Heller, who did not want to reveal details Thursday beyond saying that the 90-minute event was to present the history of football and to "highlight the (various) cultures of the world."
Blatter welcomed the German governments initiative: Football is all about teamwork. Figuratively speaking, FIFA has picked up a through ball from the German government and now has the opportunity to score a goal that will echo far beyond the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
"This is not a celebration as an end in itself but a football fiesta designed to create an appropriate atmosphere for the biggest single-sport event in the world. It should take place with ageless symbols justifying a great tradition."
Schily expressed his gratitude that the dispute around the show was over.
"Germany has the unique chance to present itself in the best possible way as an open-minded country," Schily said.
The head of the German organizing committee, Franz Beckenbauer, described the kick-off festivities to the competition as important: Everyone knows that first impressions are crucial to the final judgment.
"From the point of view of the Organising Committee, I wholeheartedly welcome the prospect of a sparkling countdown before the first game has kicked off, only to zoom in on the World Cups official opening ceremony one day later in Munich."
Blatter, meanwhile, also said he would prefer hosts Germany over title holders Brazil to play the opening match in Munich and would make an according request to the FIFA bodies dealing with the World Cup.
Blatter named as one reason the fact that Brazil was not even qualified yet for the tournament. The 2006 edition is the first World Cup for which the defending champion is not automatically qualified.
The statement came a few weeks after new Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann said that would rather want Brazil than his team to play the opener which in the past has seen plenty of surprises.
At the 2002 World Cup holders France were ambushed by Senegal and Euro 2004 saw hosts Portugal losing to later surprise champions Greece.
Subject: German news