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Last Updated: Monday, 31 October 2005, 20:47 GMT
Musicians threaten Munich boycott
By Ray Furlong
BBC News, Berlin

Bavarian musicians
Organisers say there is not enough time for too much brass and leather
Folk musicians in Bavaria are threatening to boycott the opening of next year's football World Cup - unless they are given a more prominent role.

Organisers have allocated 45 seconds for a performance of traditional Bavarian thigh-slapping and brass music, which they say is not enough.

The opening ceremony of the World Cup in June next year takes place in the Bavarian capital, Munich.

The folk musicians' performance is a classic symbol of Bavaria.

Men in tight leather shorts, slapping their thighs, leap around to the sound of brass music and Alpine horns.


The opening ceremony is supposed to be a 20-minute extravaganza in Munich's breath-taking new stadium, representing the various cultures of the competing nations.

But while there are reportedly plans for dancing kangaroos if Australia qualify, dancers in lederhosen may boycott the event.

The Bavarian folk performers' association has complained that they have been allocated just 45 seconds - and are demanding more time.

A spokesman said they wanted three minutes in order to perform properly.

A snap opinion poll by the Bavarian state broadcaster suggested that 70% of people in the southern German state support them.

The organisers, meanwhile, have dismissed the criticism - arguing there is no time for a longer performance. But negotiations are being held to try to find a compromise.

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