Swiss roll out football carpet for Brazil

Something to smile about: Footballer of the Year Ronaldinho will be preparing in Switzerland for the World Cup Keystone

The Brazilian football team will have a new stadium at their disposal when they come to a Swiss town in May to train for this year's World Cup in Germany.

This content was published on January 23, 2006 - 14:31

A Swiss manufacturer of coffee machines is spending some SFr1.1 million ($875,000) on the facility in picturesque Weggis, on the shores of Lake Lucerne.

The owner of the company, Thermoplan, told swissinfo that it took him all of five minutes to decide whether to invest in the project.

"When the Brazilians come to town, it's not just an event for Weggis but for the whole of Switzerland," Domenic Steiner said. "They're not just coming for the beautiful landscape but also because of the security and the environment."

Steiner added there was no way the five-time World Champions would have chosen to train in Weggis without the prospect of proper training facilities.

"Weggis's football pitch could not have lived up in any way to the demands of the Brazilian team," he said.

The investment will enable the grounds of local amateurs Weggis FC to be enlarged to the standards of Fifa, the sport's international governing body, and to be equipped with new turf and floodlights.

Its current capacity of 1,050 will be increased to 4,000 and a new press centre will be built.

Great expectations

The Brazilians, including 2004 and 2005 Fifa World Player of the Year Ronaldinho, are unlikely to pay for their hotel costs during their sojourn.

"So that we could say yes to the Brazilians' stay, we had to have a budget in place that would cover their accommodation costs," said Jürg Günther, president of Weggis Vitznau Rigi Tourism.

This budget is SFr400,000 and is to be met by a number of tourist organisations and the hotel in question, the five-star Park Hotel.

The town is expecting 300 journalists and fans to descend from May 22 to June 4 when the South Americans turn up.

swissinfo

Key facts

Brazil, the five-time football World Champions, are staying in the Swiss town of Weggis from May 22 to June 4.

A Swiss company, Thermoplan, is paying for a new stadium for the South Americans.

The Brazilians' accommodation at the five-star Park Hotel will be paid for by a number of tourist organisations and the hotel.

300 Brazilian journalists are expected to descend on the town on the shores of Lake Lucerne in central Switzerland.

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In brief

The 32 teams who have qualified for the World Cup 2006:

Germany (host), Portugal, England, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Croatia, Poland, Sweden, Serbia-Montenegro, Ukraine, Spain, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Ecuador, Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Angola, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Tunisia, Togo.

Mexico, United States, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, Australia.

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