Media Release

Federation Internationale de Football Association

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

"Football fiesta" in the countdown to the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™

Germany will be celebrating an unprecedented cultural and festive event in Berlin on 8 June 2006 in the countdown to the 2006 FIFA World Cup™. German Minister of the Interior Otto Schily gave this pledge to FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and President of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee Germany Franz Beckenbauer in Berlin today. Minister Schily and FIFA President Blatter also signed a Memorandum of Understanding defining the basic conditions for the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ kick-off celebrations. The man behind the cultural aspect of the World Cup prelude will be artist André Heller. FIFA will be financing the event with approximately EUR 22 million. The German government launched the project early this year with the Heller's help.

FIFA President Joseph Blatter welcomed the German government's initiative: "Football is all about teamwork. Figuratively speaking, FIFA has picked up a through ball from the German government and now has the opportunity to score a goal that will echo far beyond the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ in Germany. This is not a celebration as an end in itself but a football fiesta designed to create an appropriate atmosphere for the biggest single-sport event in the world. It should take place with ageless symbols justifying a great tradition."

Manifestly pleased with FIFA's enthusiasm, Schily stated: "I am very happy that FIFA has accepted the German government's initiative and André Heller's proposals. This is yet further proof that you can always find a suitable partner for creative ideas and initiatives. These celebrations can only enrich the World Cup."

OC President Franz Beckenbauer also described the kick-off festivities to the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ as important: "Everyone knows that first impressions are crucial to the final judgment. From the point of view of the Organising Committee, I wholeheartedly welcome the prospect of a sparkling countdown before the first game has kicked off, only to zoom in on the World Cup's official opening ceremony one day later in Munich."

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) confirms that FIFA will be the organiser, and as such assume all of the costs and rights of the event under the terms of the agreed overall budget. FIFA and the German government will discuss every decision regarding preparations for the kick-off celebrations, including ticket pricing and sales, accreditation, and especially the question of security. One thousand tickets for the kick-off event will be reserved for charities.

Further information from:

FIFA Media Department

Tel.: +41-43/222 7272, Fax: +41-43 222 7373, E-mail: media@fifa.org

FIFA Communications Division / Zurich, 07 October 2004 / 2004-0112-FWC2006-Beginning-E.doc