Who could wish for a better start to the first Women’s Football World Cup in Germany? The opening match between the German hosts and Canada will be kicking off on the evening of Sunday June 26 at 18:00 CET in front of some 73,000 spectators. Tickets for the game at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium are already sold out – that’s a new European record in women’s football. Fans are especially eager to watch the German two-time champions performing: tickets for the matches involving the German team have already sold out, says the German Football Association (DFB) which is pleased with the huge interest in the World Cup on home ground.
Following the opening match in Berlin against Canada, the German national squad will be encountering the other preliminary-round opponents in their group: Nigeria on June 30 in Frankfurt am Main, and France on July 5 in Mönchengladbach. Before the final on July 17 in Frankfurt am Main, a total of nine German cities will be hosting the 32 matches between the 16 World Cup teams. The venues for the Women’s World Cup 2011 are Augsburg, Berlin, Bochum, Dresden, Frankfurt am Main, Leverkusen, Mönchengladbach, Sinsheim and Wolfsburg. Public viewing, cultural events and more: all nine of Germany’s host cities are transforming the Women’s World Cup into a huge football festival with a multitude of accompanying programs.
For instance, Augsburg is planning about 90 World Cup events including an international Football for Peace tournament. Bochum’s events include a fan-mile discussion panel on “football and the media”, while in Dresden presumably the world’s longest virtual ball relay will be staged under the motto “Saxony kicks!” In Berlin and Frankfurt am Main the official World Cup warm-up is taking place on June 25, the day before the opening match. That’s when Berlin is celebrating a fan festival at the Brandenburg Gate. And the exhibition “Women write football history” will be showing at the Federal Chancellery until August 21. On the evening before the contest begins, the World Cup overture in Frankfurt will be a spectacular “Ball Magic” multimedia event. Along the fan mile, the River Main is being transformed for the show. Guests will be entertained by a thrilling mix of music, artistry and dance, video sequences and light effects centring on a floating stage decorated with a gigantic football on the River Main.
The four preliminary round groups
Group A: Germany, Canada, Nigeria, France
Group B: Japan, New Zealand, Mexico, England
Group C: USA, North Korea, Colombia, Sweden
Group D: Brazil, Australia, Norway, Equatorial Guinea