Pele, Schiffer to kick off WC

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> The World Cup will have a relatively low-key kick off on Friday so as to maintain the condition of the field for the opening game.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:34 IST
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Claudia Schiffer, Pele and a cast of 1,400. The opening ceremony of the World Cup will have its dramatic moments -- just not on the scale of the Olympics, and that's fine with its director. "We'll still try to make a party, but a nice afternoon party," said Christian Stueckl, who is in charge of the 30-minute spectacle prior to Friday's first game between host Germany and Costa Rica. With native Bavarian music, "flying women" who will be lifted to the top of Munich's World Cup stadium and hip hop songs, Stueckl has tried to make the most of his half hour, but the concern about the condition of the field for the game that will follow limited his creativity. No stages will be erected; no heavy props will be used that could damage the grass. It still will include 120 drums and 170 World Cup champions, including Pele and Diego Maradona -- the first time soccer's quadrennial championship has welcomed back its previous winners and incorporated them into the tournament's official start. Compared with the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics, which includes the parade of athletes, often uses pyrotechnics and can last 3-4 hours, Friday's World Cup ceremony will be relatively modest. (AP)

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