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Beckenbauer kicks off World Cup Welcome Tour with Iran visit

BERLIN (IRNA) -- The head of the Frankfurt-based World Cup Organizing Committee Franz Beckenbauer will open his four-nation 2006 FIFA World Cup 'Welcome Tour' with a visit to Iran followed by Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Japan.

After landing in Tehran in the early morning hours of October 2, Beckenbauer and his accompanying German delegation will host the 'Welcome Iran' event at the Azadi Hotel ballroom with Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki heading the VIP guest list.

Franz Beckenbauer

"I am really keen on personally meeting our World Cup guests from Iran. I want to congratulate Iran on its successful World Cup qualification and I want to know the individual wishes of the Iranian Football Federation in order to be able to address them," Beckenbauer told IRNA earlier in the week.

"I anticipate good and informative talks in Tehran," he added ahead of his five-day international whirlwind tour.

Beckenbauer's last visit to Iran dates back to October 9, 2004 when he covered the historic Germany-Iran friendly match as a sports analyst for the German ZDF television network.

The vice-president of the German Football Federation (DFB) will fly the equivalent of three times around the globe to visit the 31 national football associations which will join hosts Germany in the starting field for the 18th FIFA World Cup finals from June 9 to July 9, 2006.

The mammoth FIFA World Cup marathon is scheduled to continue until mid- February 2006.

... Payvand News - 10/1/05 ... --

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