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EDITIONS
2006 World Cup decision Thursday, 29 June, 2000, 16:23 GMT 17:23 UK
Germans led Euro challenge
Franz Beckenbauer leads the German bid
Franz Beckenbauer is not used to losing
The German and English bids shared many of the same strengths - and having to split the European votes they may also have shared one weakness.

However Uefa president Lennart Johansson and, not surprisingly, Gerhard Aigner, the governing body's German general secretary, apparently favoured the German bid - and the rest of Europe's voters were expected to follow suit.

Like England, the German bid already has a number of top quality stadiums in place, and the country has an infrastructure which can easily handle a competition of this sort.

Germany facts
Population: 82,000,000
Capital city: Berlin
International honours: World Cup winners 1954, 1974, 1990; European Championship winners 1972, 1980, 1996 (all except 1996 were won as West Germany)
Top teams: Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund
With the exception of the ground in Leverkusen, which will only house 25,000 people, all of Germany's proposed stadiums will hold at least 44,000.

One of the key selling points they were emphasising is that a World Cup in Germany would be a "tournament of short distances" as it is well located in central Europe.

If England claims to be "the home of football", Germany were billing themselves "the land of football".

Certainly their history as a footballing nation is phenomenal - they have reached the World Cup final six times winning on three occasions, and they have also been Champions of Europe three times and twice runners-up.

Uefa president Lennart Johannson
Lennart Johannson was behind Germany's bid
Again like the English campaign, Germany have called on a legendary figure from the past to head up their campaign.

Football names do not come much bigger than Franz Beckenbauer, who has been tipped to succeed Sepp Blatter as Fifa president.

Apart from the problem of vying for European votes with England, the German bid had very few weaknesses.

Gerhard Aigner, general secretary of Uefa
Gerhard Aigner, general secretary of Uefa
They came out of the Euro 2000 match against England in Charleroi with their reputation more or less intact - and much of the credit for this must go to the government who brought in sweeping legislation to prevent potential troublemakers from travelling - something which the British government failed to do.

The Germans have demonstrated in the past that they can comfortably host competitions.

But one slight drawback could have been an apparent apathy to the game in Germany where crowds are stagnant and some facilities are outdated.

See also:

29 Jun 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
29 Jun 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
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