Zurich, Switzerland, 13th January 2009 – FIFA, the world’s governing body of football, Electronic Arts Inc and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) today announced that Alfonso Ramos, the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2008 Champion, has received his official winner’s trophy at the FIFA World Player Gala in Zurich. Ramos was joined by some of the world’s greatest footballers, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Fernando Torres at the star-studded event which also saw Cristiano Ronaldo crowned the 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year.
The FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC) 2009 has received a record number of entrants with around 320,000 competitors already signed up to compete in this year’s competition. The FIWC has become one of the largest and fastest growing sports gaming competitions in the world with players from around the globe battling it out on EA SPORTS FIFA 09 for PLAYSTATION 3 (PS3) in a bid to be crowned the best virtual footballer in the world and receive the $20,000 1st place prize. For anyone who thinks they’ve got what it takes, there is still time ahead of 31st March to enter and show the world what you’re made of, so get registered and start laying your claim to the crown.
FIFA, EA and SCEE have also announced that the FIWC 09 grand final in May will take place in Barcelona, one of the world’s greatest football cities. The glamorous grand final marks the culmination of months of qualifying rounds currently taking place both online via the PlayStation®Network and at FIWC 09 Live Qualifier Events around the globe, in countries including Australia, Brazil, UK, Germany, France, Italy, South Africa and the US.
“We got involved in the FIFA Interactive World Cup with the intention of creating an iconic gaming competition, but to achieve the huge increase in competitors that we have seen this year is something that exceeds even our most optimistic predictions”, said Darren Carter, Vice President for Brand and Consumer Marketing, SCEE. “Everything about the FIWC this year is bigger and better and to see so many competing online on PlayStation Network really highlights how PlayStation® has grown along with the tournament. We can’t wait to welcome the best virtual footballers to Barcelona, Spain.”
“We are extremely proud to once again be supporting the FIWC alongside FIFA and Sony Computer Entertainment”, said Matt Bilbey, Vice President International Marketing, EA SPORTS. “We believe that FIFA 09 is our best ever football title and we are delighted to see so many gamers battling it out in the game both online and at physical qualifying events around the world. The FIWC has grown over the years to become a truly global gaming competition which captures the heart and spirit of football and gaming and we look forward to crowning this year’s victor at the grand final in May.”
Details about the live qualifier events near you will be made available over the coming weeks at www.FIFA.com/FIWC, so check in regularly to keep your fingers on the pulse of the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2009.
Footage and photography of the FIWC 08 is accessible on the FIFA Media Channel now: http://mediachannel.extranets.fifa.com/regproc.aspx