Frankfurt: Berlin and Munich will share the highlights of the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany.
Berlin, whose Olympic Stadium is undergoing a major facelift, will host the final on July 9 according to a match schedule released on Wednesday.
The opening game will be staged just a month earlier, in Munich on June 9 in a new arena being erected. Whether hosts Germany or world champions Brazil, providing they qualify, will be involved in the opening match remains to be decided, said local organising committee vice-president Wolfgang Niersbach.
Munich, where the final of the 1974 World Cup in West Germany was played, will also have a semi-final while the other one will be staged in Dortmund.
Berlin, Dortmund, Munich and Stuttgart, where the third-place playoff will take place the day before the final, will get six games each while the other eight venues will get five.
Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg, Hanover, Kaiserslautern, Cologne, Leipzig and Nuremberg were also selected to host games in the first World Cup on German soil since the country’s unification in 1990. Of the 12 venues, only Leipzig is located in what was once East Germany.
“Fifa and the local organising committee have worked as partners together to draw up a balanced match schedule ensuring equitable distribution of the matches among the 12 venues,” Fifa president Sepp Blatter said after the schedule was approved by the World Cup organising committee meeting.
“We have also made sure that the teams meeting in the last 16 will be given the same number of rest days.”
In the group stage, no team will play in the same stadium twice. Each venue will play host to two matches featuring one of the top-seeded teams.
“All World Cup cities will stage exciting games,” said German Football Association (DFB) president Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder.