100 days to go: FIFA Women’s World Cup excitement builds
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With exactly 100 days to go until the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011™, the Local Organising Committee (OC) has issued an optimistic and upbeat forecast for the tournament.

"Many things are ready, but there’s still work to do once the clubs and stadium operators hand supervision of the World Cup Arenas over to us at the end of their season. But it’s all going according to plan,” OC general coordinator Ulrich Wolter announced on Thursday at the Frankfurt World Cup Arena, venue for the Final.

Enthusiasm for the tournament in Germany is clearly rising, with six of the 32 matches effectively sold out, specifically the matches featuring world champions Germany, the Final on 17 July, and the third-place play-off on 16 July. "But during my Welcome Tour, I’m sensing enormous interest in all the countries sending teams to the World Cup. Everyone, everywhere is really looking forward to it,” said OC President Steffi Jones, who has visited ten of the 15 competing nations so far.

I'm still sticking to my target of sell-out crowds at every match. After all, every player will give 100 per cent effort.
Steffi Jones

Thursday also saw the launch of a new ticket sales phase, with 100,000 additional tickets released for general sale from previously reserved allocations. Some 515,000 of the new total of 800,000 tickets on general sale have already been sold. "I’m still sticking to my target of sell-out crowds at every match. After all, every player will give 100 per cent effort,” commented Jones, "I’m not yet entirely satisfied."

By contrast, the OC President was very satisfied with another item of news announced on Thursday in Frankfurt: 28 matches at the Germany 2011 finals from 26 June to 17 July will be shown live by public service broadcasters ARD and ZDF. The other four matches, which run simultaneously with the parallel fixture in each group at the conclusion of the group stage, will either be viewable as real-time inserts in the live broadcast or as highlights. Leading German TV stations ARD and ZDF will also produce the signal for the international TV market, guaranteeing high-quality coverage of the entire tournament around the globe.

Speaking at the same event, Germany coach Silvia Neid announced her preliminary 26-strong squad, to be whittled down to the statutory 21 players by the end of May. The 26 players set to commence pre-tournament training on 11 April include 15 of the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup-winning squad. Five of the 26 were members of the Germany U-20 squad that won their FIFA Women’s World Cup on home soil last summer.