Time to Make Friends

Mr Peter Seidel (Photo: MT)

Mr Peter Seidel, German Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City has had an interview with a Journalist of the Sai Gon Giai Phong Newspaper on occasion of the World Cup 2006 hosting in Germany.


-SGGP: Germany is hosting the FIFA World Cup 2006. This is Germany’s second time to host the world’s most important sporting event - besides the Olympic Games - since 1974. What do you think about this event?


- Germany has the honor to be chosen as the host country for the 2006 World Cup and the Germans are very proud of this. I feel that this event has positively influenced the overall spirit and atmosphere of my country. In these days, many of my compatriots seem to have forgotten their bigger or smaller every- day problems and are enthusiastically looking forward to following the matches, seeing the world’s most famous soccer teams either live on the pitch or on TV, and, of course, they wish their national team to win.


- Many football fans across the globe are already looking forward to this spectacular event to be held in Germany. How do you assess the German team’s preparations?


- As a matter of fact, the preparation details of our team as well as the strategy which Jürgen Klinsmann is going to pursue are still confidential. I am, however, convinced that the very best has been done to prepare our players both individually and, most importantly, as a team. I trust that all the efforts of a thorough preparation will lead to a great success.


Germany football team

- In June 2006, Germany will welcome not only the national football teams of 31 countries but also far in excess of one million visitors. How has the host country prepared?


- All the teams have taken up their headquarters in various German cities; some of them have chosen German Railways (Deutsche Bahn) as means of transport and will be traveling in the most advanced trains available and especially reserved for them during their stay. For more than one million visitors we have made lots of careful preparations. All of the stadiums have either been newly built or have undergone a complete refurbishment according to the highest standards of architecture, utilities for the teams and comfort and safety for the spectators and fans.


- The World Cup is a unique chance to present hospitable Germany to sport lovers across the globe. How has your country promoted the country’s image? And at present, can you tell us some details of greeting atmosphere in Germany.


- Many brochures and TV spots/DVDs have been distributed by German institutions all over the world, e.g. Deutsche Welle TV and Broadcasting, the Goethe Institutes, our embassies and consulates. The host cities and towns have further improved their already excellent road systems and public transportation infrastructure, provide accommodation for every budget and offer many special arrangements and attractions for our guests. Oversized TV screens in prominent places of the host cities will provide live pictures of the matches for those who have not been able to obtain tickets. Special and carefully prepared measures are being taken to ensure maximum security and safety while maintaining an overall festive and happy atmosphere.


- What activities are you going to celebrate the World Cup Finals in Ho Chi Minh City? What do you think about the cooperation program between the German Consulate and the SGGP Newspaper?


Munich Stadium

- Before and during the World Cup, the consulate does participate in several events, e.g. the Sports Gala, and, in cooperation with LUFTHANSA German Airlines, I am hosting a reception in HCMC on the day of the opening ceremony and the opening game between Costa Rica and Germany which takes place in Munich on June 9. The cooperation program with the SGGP newspaper is an outstanding example of partnership. We highly appreciate the efforts the SGGP has made in order to report on Germany and the World Cup and to strengthen the bilateral relations between Vietnam and Germany and their people and soccer enthusiasts in particular. With regard to the finals we have not yet made plans; if we should be so lucky and have something special to celebrate you can rest assured that this will be done in the proper way.


- How does the German community in HCMC enjoy the World Cup?


- The German community in HCMC is highly motivated to enjoy the World Cup and to support the German team. Many of my fellow countrymen are taking the opportunity to prolong their stay in Germany until the finals or at least to see some of the matches while they are at home for holidays or on a business trip. Those who are unable to join the World Cup in their home country you will certainly meet in front of the TV screens in the downtown sports bars.


Interviewer: Minh Thao

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