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January, 2004 - Nr. 1

 

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World Cup 2006 in Berlin


Berlin eyed for World Cup celebrations

   TWIG - The opening ceremonies for the 2006 soccer World Cup will be held in Berlin ó possibly at the cityís historic Brandenburg Gate, according to reports.

Munich will host the June 9 opening match, but government officials have reportedly pushed for the opening ceremonies to be held as a separate event in Berlin.

"Itís all but decided," said German Interior Minister Otto Schily in an interview published last week in the Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

Traditionally, the opening game and celebrations have been staged in the same city.

Berlin is already the site of the July 9 final game, in part because itís the countryís capital and because Olympiastadion is one of the most famous arenas in the world. The stadium was the stage for the 1936 Olympic games, where black American athlete Jesse Owens won four gold medals to make a mockery of Nazi racial superiority claims.

The World Cup organizing committee is reportedly eyeing Olympiastadion, which is expected to seat more than 70,000 when renovation is done, as a prime venue for the opening ceremonies.

But Berlin officials have said that they favour holding the celebrations at the famous 65-foot Brandenburg Gate, one of the German capitalís leading tourist attractions. "Naturally we want to hold the party at the most attractive place in Berlin, Brandenburg Gate," said Berlinís secretary of sports, Thomas Haertel.

A final decision is expected in March.
Republished with permission from "The Week in Germany"

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