Media Release

Federation Internationale de Football Association

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

2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Draw: Michael Schumacher to join host of international stars in Frankfurt

Six-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher heads a star-studded list of guests who will be present at the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ Qualifying Draw in Frankfurt's Festhalle on 5 December 2003. Entertainment will come courtesy of rock icon Sting and American a capella group Naturally Seven. The events will be shown live by German television channel ZDF between 5.05 pm and 6.45 pm, in a broad-cast presented by Johannes B. Kerner. "For us, the Qualifying Draw is the first main event in the media coverage of the World Cup in Germany," explained ZDF editor-in-chief Nikolaus Brender.

OC President Franz Beckenbauer added: "The Qualifying Draw is our first major challenge on the road to 2006, and one which we hope to meet from an organisational point of view. Above all, however, we want to ensure that our guests from all over the world feel very welcome – just as they should at the World Cup itself." The Festhalle is expected to receive 3,500 guests, including 1,000 representatives from the FIFA Committees and the 204 FIFA national associations.

The draws for five of the six confederations (qualification in South America is already underway) will be based upon the FIFA directives for the allocation of the 32 qualifying places:

Asia (AFC):

44 national associations

4.5 qualifying places

Africa (CAF):

52 national associations

5 qualifying places

North and Central America and Caribbean (CONCACAF):

35 national associations

3.5 qualifying places

South America (CONMEBOL) – qualification in progress

10 national associations

4.5 qualifying places

Oceania (OFC):

11 national associations + New Caledonia

0.5 qualifying places

Europe (UEFA):

52 national associations

14 qualifying places (Germany qualify automatically as hosts)

197 national associations, as well as New Caledonia, have officially applied to be included in 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Draw.

With two and a half years until the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany kicks off, world-wide media interest in the tournament has already reached incredible levels. More than 600 members of the world's press have submitted their accreditation papers for the Qualifying Draw to FIFA and the OC. Numerous international television broadcasters will be relaying live or delayed coverage from Frankfurt. In keeping with the tournament slogan ("A time to make friends"), the OC have also invited a number of youth teams along to the proceedings, in co-operation with Hessian Football Association, to inject an international flavour and help spread the World Cup spirits among guests.

In the run-up to the Qualifying Draw, the Organising Committee for the FIFA World Cup, under the leadership of UEFA President Lennart Johansson, will be meeting to fine tune details of the match schedule and ticketing system. The Executive Committee, chaired by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, is expected to make a final decision by 4 December 2003. Furthermore, the FIFA World Cup Globe is scheduled for opening on 2 December 2003 in front of the Alten Oper in Frankfurt.

Key media dates (provisional):

Monday 1 December

Accreditation and Media

Centre opens (9 am)

Press conference (1 pm)

Tuesday 2 December

Press conference (4 pm)

Wednesday 3 December

FIFA World Cup Organising Committee meeting

FIFA Marketing Partner Workshop

Press conference (3 pm)

Media Briefing (4 pm)

"A time to make friends in Frankfurt" Party (9 pm)

Thursday 4 December

FIFA Executive Committee meeting

Press conference (4.30 pm)

Friday 5 December

Broadcaster Information Meeting

Cocktail Reception (3.30 pm)

Qualifying Draw, Welcome (4.45 pm)

Qualifying Draw, live broadcast (5.05 pm)

Mixed Zone (6.55-9 pm)

Press conference (7.15 pm)