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Wednesday, October 11, 2006
FIFA, EA and Xbox Kick-off FIFA Interactive World Cup 2006

This year's tournament will offer more soccer gamers the chance to be crowned FIFA Interactive World Player 2006, with the winner being invited to the FIFA World Player Gala in Zurich on the 18th December 2006, and for the first time in the history of the tournament, receiving a cash prize of US$20,000.

FIFA, Xbox and Electronic Arts today announced the third annual FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC), marking a hat-trick for the global soccer gaming competition. Starting on the 27th of October, soccer fans from around the world will have the opportunity to compete in the world's only FIFA-sanctioned global video game tournament. The competition combines on and offline next generation soccer gaming action using FIFA Soccer 07 on Xbox 360.

The FIFA Interactive World Cup 2006 will be one of the most exciting events in the interactive sports calendar. Prospective contestants worldwide will be able to practice their moves and hone their skills by playing the FIFA Soccer 07 demo which is available now on Xbox Marketplace.

Last year, Xbox Live entrant Chris Bullard from Ipswich, England emerged victorious having defeated Gabor Mokos, of Kecskemet, Hungary in an intense final at The Brewery in London. This year, competitors can attend one of the many FIWC06 Qualifier Events or enter the Xbox Live tournaments in 25 countries, from Mexico to France and from Taiwan to Scotland. Players will be able to register to take part from 1st November 2006 and can find more details at www.FIFA.com

"The FIFA Interactive World Cup unites the passion for soccer with the world of interactive entertainment. Gamers are battling it out for an official FIFA award that places interactive soccer in the same bracket as its offline parent competitions - the various FIFA World Cups played on traditional means. We are pleased that we are able to pay tribute to this special category of soccer players and are looking forward to this year's edition. The FIFA Interactive World Cup gives us the chance to further promote the game on a completely different level," said Urs Linsi, FIFA General Secretary.

Hopeful competitors can simply turn up to compete in the FIFA Interactive World Cup Qualifier Events in the following locations: Brazil, Sao Paolo, Saturday, 18th November; Denmark, Copenhagen, Saturday, 18th November; Spain, Madrid, Friday 24th / Saturday 25th November; South Africa, Johannesburg, Saturday, 25th November; Hungary, Budapest, Friday 25th / Saturday 26th November; Germany, Oberhausen, Saturday, 02nd December.

Up to 20 additional qualifier events will take place across the globe, including tournaments in the US, UK, the Netherlands, Russia and many more. FIFA Interactive World Cup Qualifier Events will offer a host of activities away from the competition for players and spectators such as real-life soccer skills test area, live music from up and coming DJ's. For more information on the locations and dates of the FIFA Interactive World Cup Qualifiers, visit the event section on www.FIFA.com

Local winners from each of the FIFA Interactive World Cup Qualifier Events will progress to the FIFA Interactive World Cup Grand Final in Amsterdam on the 9th of December 2006. This year will see the largest group of finalists to date, with 128 of the cream of interactive soccer talent competing to be recognized as the world's best. In the new format of the finals, this year's winner will also get to test his or her skills against the finalists from the previous two FIWC tournaments. The winner will be able to take home a cash prize of US $20,000 and will also receive an all expense paid trip to Zurich for the FIFA World Player Gala on Monday 18th December, where this year?s real life soccer stars will be awarded.

"We're thrilled to work with our friends at FIFA and Xbox to bring the third FIFA Interactive World Cup to soccer fans and gamers across the world," said Clive Downie, Vice President International Marketing, EA. "This year, we're putting contestants even closer to the virtual soccer action with all new FIFA 07 gameplay action on the Xbox 360. Check out the exclusive demo of the game on Xbox Live Marketplace and start practising for your chance to take home the ultimate winner's prize of $20,000 and a trip to the FIFA World Player Gala in Zurich."

To request the Official Emblem of the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2006, please fill out the marks request form for media on www.FIFAdigitalarchive.com.

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