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FIFA Forces Germany to Play WC opener


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Good thing FIFA has acted decisively:) to end this juvenile charade. Now, the organizing committee can get on with real organizing. Klinsmann[}:)] has to become less anally retentive quick.


FIFA orders Germany to play 2006 World Cup opener

LONDON, Oct 27 (Reuters) - FIFA has ordered 2006 World Cup hosts Germany to play in the tournament's opening match, dashing the hopes of coach Juergen Klinsmann who had wanted to delay his team's first game to keep the pressure off his players.

FIFA's organising committee made the decision at a meeting in Zurich on Wednesday.

The World Cup's opening match is due to be played in Munich on June 9, 2006. The draw for the group stage of the competition takes place in Leipzig on December 9, 2005.

Klinsmann had suggested that world champions Brazil, who under new rules have to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, play in the opening game instead of the hosts.

Klinsmann said in a statement on the German Football Association's website that he welcomed FIFA's early decision because it allows him to finalise his plans for the tournament.

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