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Elton John World News: Big Names to Attend World Cup

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Wednesday 7 June 2006 @ 16:06 - GMT

According to the June 7, 2006 New York Times, Sir Elton, Prince Albert, Boris Becker and Sir Howard Stringer of  the Sony Corporation all are zealous soccer fans, and all are expected to make the trip to Germany for the World Cup.

George Taylor

's job is to take care of such V.I.P.'s. And he is doing it on a scale that befits this gargantuan event. Over the next month, his company, iSe-Hospitality of Switzerland, expects to serve 300,000 bottles of wine, 50,000 bottles of champagne and gourmet meals on 5.5 million pieces of china.

"In 30 years of sports worldwide, there's been nothing even close to what's being done here," Mr.Taylor said.

The World Cup's organisers set aside 10 percent of the tickets about 340,000 for this form of gold-plated hospitality.

Mr. Taylor said more than 6,000 companies, many in financial services, have paid for the packages, which include a ticket, food and drink, and parking at the stadium.

The prices range from 900 euros ($1,161) for a first-round game between Mexico and Iran to 3,000 euros ($3,870) for the opening match between Germany and Costa Rica in Munich on Friday. A skybox for 10 to 20 people at the final in Berlin goes for 156,000 euros ($201,000).

Critics complain that too many tickets were set aside for the high-profile contingent. But Mr.Taylor said soccer's governing body, FIFA, transferred most of its $228 million hospitality contract back to the German organisers, allowing them to limit the price of regular tickets.