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World Cup 2002 for fans everywhere

Batelco Jeraisy Ltd, Philips and Yahoo! offer live services to football fans who won't be making it to Japan or Korea for this World Cup.

Can’t make it to Japan or Korea for World Cup this June? Didn’t quite manage to nab daily tickets in the company’s box seating for the duration of the event? You’re not alone. But cheer up: this time around it looks like other companies have managed to pull their fingers out and will be making some use of internet and telecommunications power to soften the blow of being held away from the action.

Philips, Yahoo! and Batelco have all made it their mission to ensure that even if you can’t be shrieking your support from the sidelines — or even bellowing before a live TV broadcast — the World Cup need not pass you by entirely.

Yahoo! and Philips have joined forces to deliver the graphics-based, real-time Philips MatchCast. Exclusive to FIFA’s official World Cup website, www.FIFAworldcup.com, Philips MatchCast is providing live information including running game clock, match scoring, penalties and statistics; graphics, photos, football facts and trivia; team badges, kits and player biographies; stadium weather conditions, match attendance; and continuous play-by-play, with commentary by FIFA football experts.

For residents of Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Batelco Jeraisy joint venture companies are providing the ‘GreenCard’ service. This pre-paid mobile phone card allows subscribers to access the latest World Cup results. The GreenCard service will also offer breaking football news, live reports, and end of day summaries via SMS.

“The pre-paid card will be beneficial to football fans and followers in the region, especially as the matches will be held during our region’s working hours and as the matches will, unfortunately, only be covered by a limited number of satellite television channels this year,” said Rashid Abdullah Al-Snan, executive director of Batelco Jeraisy Ltd.

Fans who’d hoped matches would be viewable via internet in their entirety will, of course, be disappointed, but with the rights holder, KirchSport AG, making only highlights available (access to the four-minute packages from each of the 64 matches will set you back $19.95), Batelco, Philips and Yahoo!’s services look more appealing than ever.

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