- Published on Monday, 08 March 2010 00:00
FIFA, along with presenting partners EA SPORTS and PlayStation, has kicked off the second half of the season of online qualification for the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2010 and also confirmed the 10 successful players from the first half who have qualified for the Grand Final in Barcelona, Spain on 1 May 2010.For the first time ever, the online qualification has been split into two halves to provide players with a greater opportunity of qualifying for the Grand Final. The first phase–which ran for 11 weeks and determined the first 10 finalists–concluded on 18 December 2009, with over 400, 000 players taking part. With a similar number of players expected to compete for the remaining 11 online Grand Final spots available in the second half of the season, which runs until 31 March, the FIWC10 is on course to attract the highest number of players in the tournament's history, more than the 515, 000 players who participated in the 2009 online tournament. In addition to the online qualification, thousands of players will take to the EA Sports FIFA 10 virtual pitch on the PlayStation3 at nine Live Qualifier Events in Poland, Denmark, Japan, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, Italy, France and the UK during the second half of the qualification season. All players will be hoping to match the success of Emin Museibov, who won the Russian Live Qualifier Event in Moscow back in November 2009. The reigning FIFA Interactive World Champion, Bruce Grannec–who will have the opportunity of defending his title at the FIWC10 Grand Final in May–enjoyed a once–in–a–lifetime opportunity to attend the FIFA World Player Gala on 21 December 2009. The Frenchman was awarded a FIFA diploma for winning the FIWC09 Grand Final in May 2009 and mingled with the best footballers in the world. "To attend the FIFA World Player Gala was an amazing experience. I met with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, my favourite player Kaka and some of the most important personalities in football, " said Grannec. "This is truly the best motivation for defending my title, even though this will be very difficult. "