Media Release

Federation Internationale de Football Association

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

FIFA President Blatter inaugurates first street football World Cup

From 2-8 July it will be a time to make friends for the street football community as the world's finest practitioners of street football head to Germany for the first ever ‘streetfootballworld festival 06'. The Copa Andrés Escobar will be up for grabs at an improvised street-side pitch in the Kreuzberg area of Berlin. The trophy was named in honour of the Colombian international who was murdered after scoring an own goal at the 1994 FIFA World Cup™. FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter will inaugurate the first street football World Cup on Sunday, in the company of German Foreign Minister Dr Frank Steinmeier.

"Street football has an important role to play in society. In all four corners of the globe, it's not just about kicking a ball about, it's also a way of learning tolerance, letting off steam, getting rid of pent-up aggression and also putting your worries to one side," underlined the FIFA President, as he reiterated the world governing body's wholehearted support for the inaugural street football World Cup. "Football is a universal language, which unites people and gives them hope. With the help of street football, we can put the social, educational, cultural and humanitarian values of the sport to use for development projects. This is exactly what the FIFA's Football for Hope initiative aims to do."

The ‘streetfootballworld festival 06' has been organised by the global street football network. To enable it to benefit from the social importance of the game of football and to make best use of the means at the festival's disposal, FIFA signed a strategic partnership with ‘streetfootballworld' in 2005 and immediately supported five projects in the streetfootballworld network. "This strategic alliance has enormous potential, and will be able to systematically benefit from football's role as a driver of social development. The sport's social dimension has helped to develop the global footballing family, and the streetfootballworld festival is very much an integral part of the World Cup," said streetfootballworld CEO Jurgen Griesbeck. The network already comprises more than 80 projects, 22 of which will be featured at the streetfootballworld festival 06. All of them use football as a targeted social platform in the fight against violence, drugs, poverty and AIDS and to promote tolerance and understanding. Films and photos in the stadium will give fans a glimpse into the world of these social football projects.

There are participants from Afghanistan, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, England, Germany, Kenya, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Turkey and USA, and there are also two combined teams from Israel and Palestine and from the Balkans. The ‘festival 06' is an official part of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Art and Culture programme, and has German coach JUrgen Klinsmann as its official ambassador.

Almost all of football's biggest stars grew up playing football out on the street, including the likes of Diego Maradona, and this festival will give as yet undiscovered footballers their chance to shine. Twenty-four hours before the FIFA World Cup Final, Carlos Valderrama, Colombian captain at USA 1994, will present the trophy to the street football world champions. For more information about the streetfootballworld festival 06, please send an e-mail to rusch@streetfootballworld or visit the official website: www.festival06.org.