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Twelve German cities will host
the 2006 Football World Cup
By Graham Cunningham, Sports Editor

28 December 2003: The match schedule for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany has been finalised. The 18th FIFA World Cup finals will take place between 9 June and 9 July 2006 in 12 German cities. The tournament will kick off with the opening game in München (Munich), while the new world champions will be crowned after the final in Berlin. The semi-finals will be played in Dortmund and München, with the third place play-off contested in Stuttgart.

The schedule for the German national team has not yet been finalised, as the Organising Committee (OC) for the FIFA World Cup will decide at a later date whether hosts Germany or reigning champions Brazil – if they qualify – will open the tournament.

According to the official match schedule for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, eight stadiums will each stage five matches, with the four largest venues (Berlin, Dortmund, München, Stuttgart) all hosting a sixth. The decision was taken by the Organising Committee for the FIFA World Cup at a meeting on 3 December 2003 in Frankfurt/Main, concurring with the recommendations of the Organising Committee Germany.

Each host venue will stage four group games featuring eight different teams. No team will play in the same stadium twice in the group stage. Furthermore, each venue will welcome two ‘seeded teams’ in the group stage, ie the highest ranked teams in the current FIFA World Ranking at the time.

The final draw to determine the groups in the tournament has taken place in Leipzig in December 2005.

Organising Committee President Franz Beckenbauer declared told the press that we had arrived at a division which all 12 host cities would be happy with. “The games will be evenly distributed across the entire country. The FIFA World Cup will be going to almost every region," he said.

OC Vice-President Horst R Schmidt, responsible for cities and stadia, explained: "It was important for us to ensure an even and fair distribution of the 64 games across all 12 host cities as a reward for their investment. Each stadium will have at least five games, something we insisted on despite of financial considerations. We are naturally confident that all construction will be completed in time. When just a few of the FIFA World Cup host cities improve their transport links further, particularly by increasing the number of tram and regional railway stations for public transport, we will have practically perfect conditions."

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