Beckenbauer's packed schedule features <br> eight nations in eleven days
The 2006 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee (OC) Welcome Tour headed by Franz Beckenbauer continues apace on its journey around the nations set to contest next summer's tournament. In the space of just eleven days, the OC President, vice-president Wolfgang Niersbach and advisor Fedor H. Radmann will visit eight more countries: Ecuador (13 February), Paraguay (14 February), Argentina (15 February), Brazil (17 February), Trinidad & Tobago (20 February), Costa Rica (21 February), Mexico (22 February) and the USA (23 February).
Each visit centres on a presentation covering ticketing, stadiums, the infrastructure in Germany and any special links to the countries in question. The Tour has prompted a number of heads of state, mayors and ambassadors to roll out the red carpet. Beckenbauer will be granted honorary citizenship when the Tour arrives in Ecuadorian capital Quito, before South American Confederation Conmebol confers its highest accolade on the OC President in Paraguayan capital Asuncion. "It will certainly be a very interesting trip. I'm looking forward to all our meetings, and especially my personal return to New York," Beckenbauer commented.
The Welcome Tour has generated extensive interest and publicity on its 21 stops to date. Following the odyssey round South, Central and North America, the roadshow will make just two further calls, to Serbia and Montenegro (9 March) and Australia (27 March).