FIFA Women's World Cup 2011™

Germany 2011 ready for dazzling kick-off

A general view of the Olympic stadium in Berlín
© Getty Images

Football has long been associated with beauty, hence its alternative moniker, “The beautiful game”. Tapping into the aesthetic appeal of the world’s most popular sport, the organisers of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011™ have chosen “The Beautiful Side of 20Eleven!” as the slogan for the tournament, which begins this Sunday.

The choice is a fitting one, and the beauty and elegance of women’s football will provide the central theme of the Opening Ceremony that will precede the Opening Match of the tournament between Germany and Canada at Berlin’s Olympiastadion.

Some 1,500 volunteers representing the 16 participating nations will take to the pitch 20 minutes before kick-off to stage a stunning lights and music show. Watching on from the director’s box will be some very special guests, including the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, and the country’s President Christian Wulff. They will be joined by a host of dignitaries, among them FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and UEFA President and FIFA vice-president Michel Platini.

Inka Wesely, a FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup winner with Germany in 2010, will have the honour of beginning the ceremony, which will last for a symbolically significant 11 minutes and will showcase the rich culture of the Host Country and the nine Host Cities: Augsburg, Berlin, Bochum, Dresden, Frankfurt, Leverkusen, Monchengladbach, Sinsheim and Wolfsburg.

As part of their superbly choreographed routine, the volunteers will carry mirrors to create the optical illusion that the fans in the stands are actually on the pitch. The message behind this visual feast is that the supporters are an integral part of what is the biggest event on the women’s calendar.

All in all, it should prove a captivating start to what promises to be three unforgettable weeks of top-class action, a chance for football to show once more that when it comes to beauty, it really is the fairest of them all.

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