World Cup grass to be sold in Germany

Aug. 3, 1990
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BONN -- West German soccer fans wanting a souvenir from last month's World Cup championship now can buy a tuft of grass from the Rome Olympic Stadium field on which the final match was played.

'We noticed that soccer fans are crazy about everything that is remotely connected with the sport,' said grass salesman Harald Pigall, who runs an advertisement agency in Hamburg. 'There have been cases in the past where people tore down goalposts after matches and took home bits of them. So why not sell the grass?'

Pigall said his company has chopped up the World Cup field into 306,000 pieces. Sales of the grass patches officially will be launched next week.

Fans can buy their souvenir patch of pitch in two forms. A model of the Olympic Stadium, with a patch of grass measuring 13 by 20 centimeters, sells for 160 marks ($100).

Labelled 'Evergreen,' the patch comes either 'conserved' in an authentic green color or 'alive' for the fan to water and mow.

In a limited edition, an acrylic block housing a patch of grass measuring 6.5 by 5 centimeters will be sold for 285 marks ($178).

Both the model and the block will be accompanied by a certificate stating the grass is genuine and an insurance policy covering fire, theft and destruction of the souvenir.

From every piece sold, 10 marks ($6.25) will go to German Sports Aid, a public fund-raising institution to support West German sports.

A month after West Germany's World Cup triumph, the fanaticism which gripped the country throughout the tournament still rages, resulting in record season-ticket sales for Bundesliga teams and soaring demand for souvenirs.

Among the first to be snapped up was shirts and jogging outfits in the German team colors, which sold out nationwide within a week of the final.

Pigall said he went to Italy after the World Cup final and secured the rights to sell the grass from the Olympic Stadium.

He bought the whole field and will launch a worldwide sale, though the biggest part of the pitch will stay in West Germany.

'We had to fight hard to get the rights for the penalty spot from which Andreas Brehme scored the winning goal against Argentina,' Pigall said.

The penalty spot, preserved in its entirety, will be sold at a special auction for the benefit of German Sports Aid.

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