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Money Worries Cloud Germany's Proud Moment

Germany unveiled its World Cup 2006 logo on Tuesday under a financial cloud. Estimated costs for the soccer extravaganza have been exposed as being optimistically low.

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Smile! You're on the World Cup Logo

For Germany, a country which holds the winning of the soccer World Cup as its sacred right, staging the 2006 finals is almost as good as lifting the golden trophy itself.

On Tuesday, one day prior to the friendly match between Germany and the Netherlands, the German 2006 FIFA World Cup Organizing Committee unveiled the emblem for the championships in four years time to a selected crowd of 500 guests at the Schalke Arena in Gelsenkirchen.

Franz Beckenbauer - Fussball WM 2006

Der Kaiser: "Lend us an euro"

Committee chief Franz Beckenbauer proudly showed off the 2006 artwork which will adorn not only the venues and team shirts but also the vast array of merchandising that organiziers hope will bring in millions of euros to the coffers of the German organizers and world soccer authority, FIFA.

"The presentation of the official tournament emblem will kick off all of our national and international public relations efforts", said Beckenbauer.

Tournament costs are higher than first thought

However, at the moment, money is a sore point with the Germans. The estimated cost of running the tournament was originally quoted as being around 250 million euro ($252.9m). The more likely figure shows that the original number was optimistically low - the German committee is likely to face a bill closer to 400 million euro ($404.7m). Now more than ever, it seems the committee needs the money from those whose pledges helped Germany succeed in the selection process.

Beckenbauer, one of the lucky Germans to have held the golden trophy aloft in victory, told a press conference last week that 12 out of the 15 corporate sponsors expected to sign on for World Cup 2006 had put pen to paper. He added that "sponsors number 14 and 15 are in preparation. The latest time for the packet to be complete will be the New Year 2003."

The committee also announced a newly forged partnership with the insurance company Hamburg-Mannheimer Inc. as one of the official suppliers. Six supplies are planned; at the moment there are only two, the other being German retailing giant KarstadtQuelle. Vice President of the committee, Wolfgang Niersbach has said that before Christmas 2002, there will be two more with the final pair expected to be secured by the middle of 2003.

Sponsorship deals expected to boost coffers

Each official supplier should contribute between 10 and 15 million euro ($10.1-15.1m) to the German sponsorship package with FIFA adding a proportion of its own. The world football authority has deals that bring in 26 million euro ($26.3m) from its international sponsors.

With 12 German stadiums being used throughout the tournament, attempts to get all of them up to FIFA standard before the summer of 2006 are also driving costs up. Seven of the cities selected to host to games will need to either perform extensive renovations on their stadiums or build new ones.

Cost of stadium reconstruction spiralling

Allianz-Arena in München

The world's biggest money box: The Allianz Arena

The combined cost of construction for the seven cities, including brand new stadiums in Berlin and the Bavarian capital Munich, will be in the region of 852.8 million euro ($863.5m). In most cases, a percentage or, as in the case of the new Allianz Arena in Munich, the whole cost will be met by the clubs themselves. Sponsorship deals with companies willing to put their names to the stadiums are also helping cover the mammoth fees. As well as insurers Allianz, Internet company AOL has paid 14.9 million euro ($15m) for the honor of renaming Hamburg's Volkspark the AOL Arena.

The five other stadiums will all require partial reconstruction totaling 568.2 million euro ($575.2m).

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