Wednesday, May 24, 2006

2006 FIFA World Cup Germany(TM) Official Guide to be Published in Spanish and English Editions for the USA

The Official Guide 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany(TM) will be published by Landucci Publishers and distributed only by Wal-Mart in the United States. The official guide of the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 will be printed in two editions for the USA, one in Spanish aimed at US Hispanics, and other in English for the general market

“This is the only official publication supported by FIFA and the only one authorized to use its official logos and trademarks in the United States”, emphasizes Marco Landucci, president of Landucci Publishers from Mexico. The guide will be sold at less than ten dollars in all Wal-Mart stores as of May 15 , 2006 and through the world cup event in June-July of next year. .

“This publication will guide U.S. soccer fans through an exciting event that includes the leading participation of the USA, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina teams, among many others, making this event particularly attractive to the US Hispanic and general soccer fans”, explains Landucci.

The guide will consist of 200 high quality pages in a handy 9.5” x 12.5” format Printed on high gloss 85gsm paper with heavy stock metallic cover. It will include relevant and reliable information regarding teams, players, and schedules of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany(TM), with exclusive photography and articles from the best sports journalists.

Raul raring to go for World Cup

The Real Madrid striker feels fresh and ready to guide his national team to glory in Germany having fully recovered from a serious knee injury that sidelined him for three months.

"After my injury, this tournament will see me arrive in the best physical condition," said Raul, who captained Spain at Euro 2004 and the 2002 World Cup.

"My condition is improving day by day.

"This could be my last tournament and I'm really looking forward to playing."

However, as good as the news of Raul's return is, Spanish fans will be concerned about his current goalscoring drought.

The 28-year-old only struck five Primera Liga goals this campaign, his lowest total since breaking into Madrid's first team 12 seasons ago.

His last goal dates back to October 26 and he is is eager to strike again, adding: "I'm sure than when I score again, other goals will follow."

Spain have a friendly against Russia on Saturday which will serve as a preparation for their first game on German soil, against Group H rivals Ukraine on June 14.

"The most complicated game is always the first," admitted Raul. "Not only because of the team we face but due to the pressure there always is in a first game."

Monday, May 08, 2006

FIFA Fears Ticket Problems at World Cup

A month before Germany opens the World Cup against Costa Rica on June 9, FIFA president Sepp Blatter says organizers are struggling to find solutions to a ticketing problem that could lead to violence outside stadiums and thousands of empty seats inside.

German tournament officials insist that each of the 3 million tickets issued for the 64 games must have the owner's name on it and that the ticket-holder's identity must be confirmed by personal identification. FIFA fears that could lead to long lines of frustrated fans waiting to get into the stadiums and little chance of people giving tickets to friends and family.

"The German organizers are in the very uncomfortable situation and, if the German organizers are uncomfortable, then FIFA is also uncomfortable," Blatter said. "They have weeks to solve this problem, and this is clearly a German problem."

Blatter spoke with German organizing head Franz Beckenbauer on Friday and plans to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"These are measures taken by a German government who will make sure that the World Cup is safe," he said. "Even she won't be able to change anything. We can only put a question mark, `How will it work?' They have already said they will have turnstiles and will have another one outside for those who are not identified to make them identified."

All 64 games are sold out for the 32-nation tournament, which runs through July 9. The United States opens June 12 against the Czech Republic.

"The pressure just won't go away," organizing committee vice president Wolfgang Niersbach said. "We have 3 million tickets we need 30 million."

At the 12 venues, organizers say the leaking roof at Frankfurt's Commerzbank-Arena and a broken awning at Kaiserslautern's Fritz-Walter Stadium have been repaired.

"We are doing the fine-tuning now. We feel so confident we can say we will offer the best stadiums in the world," said Jens Grittner, a spokesman for the German organizers.

The German effort to mount a perfect World Cup once led FIFA general secretary Urs Linsi to tell them to "relax."