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06.06.2006 Football News

A Very Warm Welcome!

By Franz Beckenbauer
A Very Warm Welcome!

"Germany will host the 2006 FIFA World Cup!" FIFA President Sepp Blatter's announcement on 6 July 2000 was a fitting reward for all the effort we put into our campaign to host the tournament.

The challenge we must now take up is to organise a tournament where the teams, officials and, above all, the fans from around the world feel at home.

We are rising to this challenge in the knowledge that expectations are extremely high. Previous tournaments in Argentina, Spain, Mexico, Italy, USA, France and most recently Korea/Japan, have all shown the host nations off to good effect.

I believe the 1974 FIFA World Cup in Germany was also a credit to our nation.

We on the Organising Committee started work at the beginning of 2001.

The fever is rising, and the passion is spreading across Germany, especially in the twelve FIFA World Cup Host Cities.

Brand new or modernised central rail stations and airports, festooned in FIFA World Cup livery, are ready to welcome a million visitors from all over the world.

The same is true of the 32 venues chosen as Team Base Camps. Elsewhere, the FIFA World Cup's power as a unique, communal experience has prompted local authorities to conceive a range of original and multi-faceted events and activities in a variety of areas including welcoming, accommodation and entertainment for home and overseas visitors.

The official 2006 FIFA World Cup Fan Fests in the twelve Host Cities, set to form the biggest football party of all time, will be complemented by festivals in streets and squares all over the nation, both with and without formal public viewing facilities.

Joy and passion, the most important components of the rising FIFA World Cup fever, is driving fans from Africa and Asia,

America, Australia and every corner of the globe towards Germany, all with the basic intention of joining the local fan community in fellowship and celebration.

These folk want only to experience and enjoy the overwhelmingly positive sensation of a FIFA World Cup firsthand.

They bring with them the most important ingredient of all: they come in search of a good time. We're all looking forward to a fabulous 2006 FIFA World Cup!

Organising Committee nails down the final details. Construction work has been fundamentally completed at all 12 stadia, save for a few minor alterations and a raft of temporary facilities to be installed once the Bundesliga programme is completed on May 13.

The last major project is to lay the official FIFA World Cup turf, a metaphorical red carpet for the stars and superstars from every continent.

The last of the three million tickets will shortly be allocated. A 14,000-strong security team was hired a while ago, guaranteeing appropriate levels of security at the stadia, the Team Base Camps and the official hotels.

And training began in late March for the 15,000 volunteers, who will provide the human celebrating faces of the 2006 FIFA World Cup with their willing, warm and friendly attitude.

We will do our utmost to win support and make friends, remembering as we proceed, the watchwords in the official 2006 FIFA World Cupslogan: Germany 2006: a time to make friends.