World Cup bid plays free-pitch

The Football Association is conducting a free pitch, involving at least eight design consultancies, to create the identity for its bid to host the 2006 World Cup Finals.

The pitch is to create the identity for the bid only, although if the bid is successful the winning design may be used as a platform from which to develop the full World Cup tournament identity, an FA spokesman confirms.

The first stage of the pitch is underway, with initial proposals from the design groups involved now under consideration. “We are in the middle of looking at their first thoughts. We may be going to some for their second thoughts,” says an FA spokesman. He confirms that any further work requested from consultancies after the first stage will command “a small fee”.

The FA will not reveal the identity of the shortlisted designers at this stage. But Marketing Communications Workshop, which created the graphics for Euro ’96, is thought to have been involved in the initial stages at least.

The host of the tournament will be announced in 2000.

In France a worldwide marketing programme is planned to support the France ’98 World Cup finals. It will feature “Footix” (pictured), a footballing rooster created by Dragon Rouge and artist Fabrice Pialot. Dragon Rouge also created the identity for the 80 000 seat Stade de France stadium.

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