BERLIN, July 5: The consolation match between World Cup semi-final losers remains a key prestige encounter for the players and there are no plans to do away with it in the future, FIFA said today.
''I believe there is still a high value in this match,'' FIFA spokesman Markus Siegler told reporters a day after Germany lost to Italy 2-0 in a semi-final clash that went into extra time.
The hosts will face either France or Portugal in Stuttgart on Saturday for third-place bragging rights.
''For the players it matters whether they come in third or fourth,'' Siegler added, in response to a question about whether the match generated sufficient interest.
''Especially with Germany playing in the match I think the interest will be high. It is a prestige thing. It's about knowing where the teams finished on the field of play.'' The German loss to Italy ended a fairytale World Cup run that had inspired the nation and sparked an outpouring of patriotism unprecedented in the post-war era.
Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann said afterwards that the disappointment was huge, but vowed to deliver a good match for the fans in Stuttgart.