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Welcome to World Cup Germany 2006!

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Germany will stage the 18th FIFA World Cup after 32 years on 9th June 2006 . The 12 cities that will play hosts to the 32 nations are Berlin, Cologne, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg, Hannover, Kaiserslautern, Leipzig, Munich, Nuremberg and Stuttgart.

For the first time, the 2006 FIFA World Cup presents the opportunity for the event to be held in a united Germany, with cities in what was formerly East Germany, being included as hosts. The overall philosophy for the 2006 FIFA World Cup is to invite the world to a joyful celebration in the heart of Europe, "Die Welt zu Gast bei Freunden".

The Official Emblem was unveiled at the prestigious launch ceremony which took place on 19 November 2002 in Gelsenkirchen. The 2006 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee Germany, with the football legend, Franz Beckenbauer as its President, was in attendance, together with FIFA officials and representatives.

The Official Mascot, Goleo VI was launched on 13 November 2004. The cheeky lion and his loyal companion, Pille the talking football, were introduced to the world by football legend Pele and LOC President Franz Beckenbauer. "This is a dream come true for me. Being the Official Mascot is my dream job," beamed GOLEO VI at his press debut.

The match schedule of the 2006 FIFA World Cup was announced in 2004 and the draw for the qualifying groups took place on 5 December 2003 in Frankfurt. The Final Draw is planned to take place in the city of Leipzig, towards the end of 2005 or in early 2006.

Throughout the event's history, two teams have shown themselves to be the most consistent performers - Brazil and Germany. Brazil's win in Yokohama, Japan, in June 2002 brought their tally to five FIFA World Cup victories, and they have also been runners up on 2 further occasions. Germany, who lost to Brazil that night have also been in 7 FIFA World Cup finals, and have walked away with the Trophy on three of those occasions.

The FIFA World Cup was first staged in Uruguay in 1930. The then FIFA President, Jules Rimet persuaded 13 teams to make the journey to South America and take on the winners of the 1928 Olympic Games football event. Today, the FIFA World Cup is the biggest single sporting event in the world and every four years holds the entire global public under its spell.

It is a time that is eagerly anticipated by billions of people, who literally re-arrange their lives in order to watch as many of the 64 matches as possible. The 2002 FIFA World Cup was viewed by people at home and at work, on the internet as well as on TV, on giant screen public viewing in the host countries and of course, live by those who attended the matches in person. Despite time difference between Asia and Europe and non-prime-time live viewing hours, many national audience records were broken and approximately 10% of the audience was made up of individuals who followed the action during work hours from their offices!
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World Cup Fans Can Enter Stadia With Scalped Tickets, FIFA Says

June 13 (Bloomberg) -- Fans will be admitted to World Cup matches with tickets bought from scalpers, tournament organizer FIFA said, reversing its policy of forcing supporters to acquire them through official channels.

Fans can get into games ``as long as the ticket is valid and you can say `here is my passport,''' Wolfgang Niersbach, vice president of the organizing committee, told a press conference in Berlin. Between 500 and 1,000 people are checked before each match, he said.

World Cup organizers, trying to discourage hooligans and scalpers from marring the event, previously said ticket holders could only enter stadiums if their name was printed on the ticket and they carried proof of identity. While the tournament has so far been trouble free, FIFA's policy also made it harder for fans to pass their tickets onto friends and colleagues.

Lapses in the ticketing policy became apparent on the tournament's second day, when England fans filled about three quarters of the 48,000-capacity Waldstadion in Frankfurt for their team's first game against Paraguay. The country's Football Association was allocated just 5,300 tickets for the game and 14,000 tickets for England's three group matches.

England's F.A. has an allocation of 4,500 for its next match against Trinidad & Tobago at Nuremberg's 41,000-seat stadium in two days. Scalpers in Berlin are seeking as much as 1,600 euros ($2,000) for a ticket to tonight's match between defending champion Brazil and Croatia.

Niersbach said FIFA's policy has kept violent fans away. At the 1998 World Cup in France, when the biggest sports event last visited Europe, much of the aggression came from Germans and Englishmen. A policeman in Lens was left in a coma after being assaulted by German fascists, while England fans went on the rampage in Marseille.

Two years later at the European Championship, 945 England followers were expelled from Belgium following riots in Charleroi and Brussels.

 

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