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Beckenbauer plays down cup dispute

8 January 2003

MUNICH – Organising committee chief Franz Beckenbauer said there was no reason for rivalry between Berlin and Munich about hosting the 2006 World Cup opening ceremony because the event was not even certain to happen, a news report said on Thursday.

“First of all the (ruling body) FIFA must decide whether there will be a ceremony at all besides the small ceremony in the Allianz Arena (in Munich) ahead of the opening game,” Beckenbauer told the Munich-based Abendzeitung.

World Cup organisers plan to stage a separate World Cup opening ceremony on the eve of the 9 June 2006, opening match to be played in Munich.

Beckenbauer said he favoured Munich as host for the ceremony for logistical reasons, but he admitted that the German government’s view carried even more weight because it will be financing the event.

Interior minister Otto Schily said recently that the opening ceremony should be staged in Berlin, where the World Cup final also takes place on 9 July 2006. The statement drew sharp reactions from politicians in Munich.

A decision on the opening ceremony is expected in March. The final say is then with FIFA.



Subject: German news