Football around the globe
Only 32 national football teams made it to the tournament in Germany in 2006, of the 198 who entered.
But that has not stopped the world, in general, from going crazy over football.
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Nations from Haiti to China are celebrating this once-in-four-year soccer fest in a variety of interesting ways.
Some 32 billion football addicts are, of course, glued to their television every day.
Football heroes participate in a wedding in far away Beijing!
China is enjoying the Cup with gusto. Folks are losing sleep to keep track of the football action on televison. Television shops are during brisk sales.
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In Zhengzhou, central China, fans organised a soccer match for dogs to welcome the World Cup.
In Nanjing, on the Yangtze river, just north of Shanghai, a miniature FIFA stadium, constructed from 7,000 soft drink bottles, is on display. And even Buddhist monks have taken to playing soccer.
The World Cup is being aggressively promoted in China, though the People's Republic has not sent a team to Germany.
Photograph: Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images
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