From New York to Nagoya, high-flying football fans are already counting down the days to the start of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany following the launch by Emirates, one of the world's fastest growing airlines, of a team of interactive viewing stations at airports in Europe, the US and Asia.
Marking the debut of the stations, JFK International Airport saw the USA first on the field in a worldwide exercise that will see Emirates, an Official Partner of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, provide global travellers with the chance to follow every moment of the world's greatest sporting event.
The American airport, which handles over three million passengers per month, was up and running just days before Zurich, London Heathrow and London Gatwick joined a league of 16 unique viewing stations in ten countries dedicated to keeping supporters up to date with the 64-match tournament, which gets underway in Munich next month.
Nagoya and Kansai International Airports in Japan, China's Shanghai International Airport, Hamburg in Germany and the Australian city of Brisbane have also switched on their giant plasma screens and projection units to broadcast classic football moments, while the viewing stations' other interactive elements include life-size figures of French star Thierry Henry, 3D screens and information broadcasts on Emirates and Dubai.
And as the 32 teams prepare for the biggest sporting spectacle of them all, airports in Narita, Hong Kong, Milan, Rome, Sydney, Melbourne and Dubai will also activate their stations before host nation Germany and Costa Rica go head-to-head following a glittering opening ceremony to launch the 2006 FIFA World Cup on June 9th.
Although the state-of-the-art viewing stations differ in shape and size depending on their locations, fans waiting for flight connections won't miss a single FIFA World Cup moment as ticker displays and the interactive screens provide up-to-the-minute match news, league standings and player information.
A mini-cam and e-mail facilities in the majority of the viewing stations also means visitors can mail pictures of themselves at the booths, which are free to visit for passengers of all airlines.