Media Release

Federation Internationale de Football Association

FIFA Strasse 20, P.O Box 8044 Zurich, Switzerland, +41 (0) 43 222 7777

2005 FIFA Interactive World Cup starts for real in London on 15 October

The second FIFA Interactive World Cup will get underway on Saturday (15 October 2005) at London's Olympia. The UK event is the first of eight tournaments being staged across all six confederations over eight weeks, culminating in the Grand Final in London on 18 December 2005. During this marathon gaming competition, football fans interested in participating in the world's largest football video game tournament can simply enter their regional tournament by turning up at the event. The necessary information on where, when and how can be found under the men's and youth section on www.fifa.com.

The format will remain the same. The best football gamers from all corners of each confederation will go head-to-head on EA SPORTS FIFA 06 game on Xbox on-site in the eight qualifying events, in a bid to be crowned the FIFA Interactive World Player 2005, a prestigious feat that will be rewarded with a trophy on stage at the FIFA World Player Gala in Zurich less than 24 hours after the final. A new feature is that the Xbox live tournament will take place alongside the eight off-line regional qualifiers. The two Xbox live finalists will join the eight regional winners in the Grand Final in London when the 10 best football gamers will compete for the title. Additionally, each winner of one of the regional tournaments as well as the two winners of the on-line tournament on Xbox Live will receive the prize of two coveted tickets for the parent event – the 2006 FIFA World Cup™. This innovative FIFA event offers fans around the world the opportunity to show off their gaming skills and indulge their passion for football.

After London, the momentum will build up with Brazilian flair in São Paulo and football frenzy in the Korea Republic's impressive 2002 FIFA World Cup™ stadium. The baton will then be passed on to Johannesburg and Los Angeles before the show arrives down under in Sydney. Cologne and Paris will host the two final regional tournaments in early December to determine the remaining berths for the Grand Final in London.

"We are really excited and looking forward to this second FIFA Interactive World Cup. It was a major step for FIFA to become the first sports governing body to organise a virtual competition. With this move, we are acknowledging the extraordinary and diverse spread of football, particularly in the virtual world where it has made huge strides in recent years. We are convinced that this FIFA event will become an integral and attractive part of the sport of football, testing football players' virtual abilities in a completely different way," said FIFA General Secretary Urs Linsi. FIFA's aim is simple: for this virtual competition to gain the same elevated status in the world as its parent tournament in the real world, the FIFA World Cup™.

In 2004, the Brazilian, Thiago Carrico de Azevedo, went down in the annals of football as the first ever FIFA Interactive World Cup champion. He was honoured on stage the day after the final alongside his countryman, Ronaldinho, crowned FIFA World Player 2004, to receive his FIFA Interactive World Player trophy from FIFA General Secretary Urs Linsi and Lothar Matthäus.

Media representatives interested in attending any of the regional tournaments should send their accreditation request directly to Rob Sykes at rsykes@activesportsmarketing.com or by fax to +44 1625 536402 at least one week prior to the event in question. For more event details and the accreditation form please visit www.FIFA.com.

To request the Official Emblem of the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2005 please fill out the marks request form for media on www.FIFAdigitalarchive.com. Media representatives may download a selection of images for editorial use only from the following link: ftp://mailgate.activesme.co.uk, Username: fiwcmedia, Password: fiwcmedia123