EA invites footie fans to enter FIFA World Cup

Global Xbox soccer tournament set to crown the best FIFA 06 player in the world this December.

Soccer is the world's most popular sport, so it only seems fitting that EA's upcoming FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC) tournament is a global affair. Last year's inaugural tournament saw thousands of participants across six continents, and this year EA, Microsoft, and FIFA are opening up the pool of contestants even wider.

There will be eight regional qualifying tournaments from Sao Paulo to Seoul, and the winner of each of those events will move on to the FIWC finals in London on December 18. But considering how many FIFA fans won't be able to make it to those regional matches, the finals also have two spots open for the best players on Xbox Live.

Between now and November 11, Xbox Live gamers can register for the tournament online, and then hit the pitch to prove their skills. One online player from each country will be flown to London to compete against the other netizens for a pair of spots in the FIWC finals.

And because a gaming tournament would be nothing without fabulous prizes, each regional tournament winner and Xbox Live country representative will receive an Xbox 360 and a copy of FIFA 06.

FIFA 06 will be released next week in Europe, with American editions of the game hitting shelves in early October. The game is rated E for Everyone, and the Xbox edition will retail for $49.99. For more on the game, check out GameSpot's latest preview.

Regional tournaments will be held in the following locations (city - venue - date): London - Olympia 2 - October 15
Sao Paulo - Villa Noah - October 22
Seoul - Sang Am World Cup Stadium - October 30
Johannesburg - Acton Sport Academy - November 12
Los Angeles - The Globe, Universal Studios - November 19
Sydney - Overseas Passenger Terminal - November 26
Cologne - The Palladium - December 4
Paris - Carrousel de Louvre - December 10

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