LONDON: The FIFA World Cup got underway in Johannesburg yesterday and all the top players were scheduled to be there in animation form at least.
The inaugural FIFA Interactive World Cup sees computer gamers from around the globe play the virtual game from their armchairs in a bid to be crowned FIFA Interactive World Player 2004.
The competition consists of eight qualifying events and a knockout tournament before the showpiece final in Zurich, the home of FIFA, on Dec 19.
The next day the victor will rub their weary shoulders with the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Pavel Nedved and David Beckham when he picks up his award alongside the World Player of the Year at FIFAs World Player Gala.
Gamers will be battling it out for an official FIFA award that places interactive football in the same bracket as its offline parent, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said in a statement.
Contestants will go head-to-head on the EA Sports FIFA 2005 game on Microsofts Xbox console. The hugely successful game, officially endorsed by FIFA, was launched in 1993 and 2005s version is its 12th edition. Reuters