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FIFA confirms 2006 World Cup match schedule

COURTESY FIFA – Frankfurt/Zurich: At its meeting in Frankfurt today under the chairmanship of FIFA senior vice-president Julio Grondona (deputising for the indisposed Lennart Johansson), the Organising Committee for the 2006 FIFA World Cup ratified the procedure for the preliminary draw for the 2006 FIFA World Cup to be held on 5 December.

The match schedule for the World Cup final competition, due to kick off in Munich on 9 June and to culminate in the final in Berlin on 9 July 2006, was also approved.

A total of 197 associations, plus New Caledonia, have enrolled for the 2006 FIFA World CupTM preliminary competition. In the meantime, Guam, Nepal and the Central African Republic have announced their withdrawal. As preliminary competitions have been held in Asia and Africa, 156 associations will now be drawn by lots in Frankfurt. No lots will be drawn for South America, where the qualifying round played in the league system has already started.

With Germany qualifying automatically as hosts, initial estimates suggest that over 850 qualifying matches will be played to determine the remaining 31 World Cup finalists. During the qualifying round for the 2002 World Cup, 777 matches were contested.

The FIFA Organising Committee passed a detailed, step-by-step procedure for the draw and the manner in which the teams will be allocated to the special bowls. It was also decided how the various stages of the preliminary competition would be played – either league or knockout. The information may be accessed through the official website www.fifaworldcup.com.

Spellbound

The entire football world will be casting their eyes towards Frankfurt in the late afternoon of Friday, 5 December 2003. The actual ceremony for the preliminary draw for the 2006 FIFA World CupTM will begin on the dot of 17.05 CET in the historic Festhalle in the metropolis of Frankfurt.

An audience of some 3,500 people, including celebrities from politics, sport and show business alongside 700 media reporters, will be watching the ceremony live. Headed by FIFA Deputy General Secretary Jérôme Champagne, ten stars will have the honour of drawing the names: six-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher, Italian FIFA referee Pierluigi Collina, former Mexican national goalkeeper Jorge Campos, USA women’s international Brandi Chastain, former international players Bum Kun Cha (Korea) and Yasuhiko Okudera (Japan), Ghana’s football star Abédi Pelé and Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour as well as Oceania’s Player of the Century Wynton Rufer, and Manfred Schäfer, who took part with Australia in the 1974 World Cup in Germany.

Final competition match schedule approved – kick-off in Munich, final in Berlin

Frankfurt/Zurich, 3 December 2003 -At its meeting today in Frankfurt, the Organising Committee for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany? under the chairmanship of FIFA vice-president Julio Grondona approved the match schedule for the final competition to be held in Germany from 9 June to 9 July 2006.

The committee thus acceded to the wishes of the local organising committee to stage the opening match in Munich and the final in Berlin. The two semi-finals will take place in Munich and Dortmund.

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter expressed his satisfaction with the match schedule: “FIFA and the LOC have worked as partners together to draw up a balanced match schedule ensuring equitable distribution of the matches among the twelve venues. We have also made sure that the teams meeting in the last sixteen will be given the same number of rest days.”

Eight venues will each host five matches, while Berlin, Dortmund, Munich and Stuttgart will each have the honour of an extra sixth match. Furthermore, in the group stage, no team will play in the same stadium twice, and there will also be at least two days in between matches in the same stadium. In addition, each venue will play host to two matches featuring one of the top-seeded teams.

The complete match schedule can be found on the official website, www.fifaworldcup.com . The draw to decide the groups for the final competition will be held in Leipzig in December 2005.

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