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ABC Sports presents World Cup soccer

ABC Sports' coverage of the world's most popular sporting event kicks off with two exciting matches. On SATURDAY, JUNE 1 (3:30 p.m. ET), Ireland will take on Cameroon in a "Group E" match. Then on SUNDAY, JUNE 2 (3:30 p.m. ET), in "Group F" play, Sweden battles England.

In order to provide uninterrupted coverage of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, ABC Sports, along with ESPN and ESPN2, will refrain from running commercials during the two 45-minute halves of each game.

ABC SPORTS STUDIO:
Veteran ABC Sports commentator Terry Gannon will be the studio host for ABC's coverage of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Joining him in the studio will be Giorgio Chinaglia, the all-time leading goal scorer in NASL history and a member of the 1974 Italian World Cup team, and Eric Wynalda, a member of the 1990, 1994 and 1998 U.S. World Cup teams and the most prolific goal scorer in U.S. National team history.

GAME COMMENTATORS:
The voices of ABC's soccer coverage Jack Edwards (play-by-play) and Ty Keough (expert analyst) provide the game action. Veronica Paysse and Lisa Salters will contribute reports from Korea/Japan.

IRELAND VS. CAMEROON:
Saturday, June 1 (3:30 p.m. ET), from Niigata, Japan

This is the first ever meeting between these two teams in international play.

Ireland:
This is Ireland's third World Cup appearance. After qualifying in 1990 (quarterfinals) and 1994 (2nd round), Ireland failed to qualify in 1998. This year in qualifying the Irish went undefeated in Europe Group 2 play, including two draws against Portugal and a 1-0 victory against Holland. Head coach Mick McCarthy's team will be without star player Roy Keane, who is suspended from the team for disciplinary reasons. Goalkeeper Shay Given and forward Robbie Keane (no relation) lead the Irish. Cameroon:
Cameroon is making its fourth straight World Cup appearance and fifth overall, the most of any African nation. Although it did not make it out of the first round in either 1998 or 1994, Cameroon did make the quarterfinals in 1990 in Italy, where it beat Argentina, Romania and Colombia before succumbing to England. This squad's roster is made up of many of the U-23 stars that shocked the world by winning the 2000 Olympic gold medal. Head Coach Winfried Schaefer's squad is led by defender Rigobert Song, the team captain, and forward Patrick Mboma, the 2000 African Footballer of the Year.

SWEDEN VS. ENGLAND:
Sunday, June 2 (3:30 p.m. ET), from Saitama, Japan
England and Sweden have played 17 previous matches, with England leading the series 6-5-6. However Sweden is unbeaten in their last eight matches (three wins, five draws). England has not defeated Sweden since May 22, 1968.

Sweden:
Sweden is back in the World Cup after failing to qualify in 1998. The 1994 squad finished third by defeating Bulgaria in the third-place match, after losing to eventual champion Brazil in the semifinals. This year's squad went undefeated (8-0-2) in qualifying and is led by goalkeeper Magnus Hedman and forward Henrik Larsson, who scored eight goals in Sweden's 10 qualifying games.

England:
This marks England's second consecutive World Cup appearance and sixth in the last seven World Cups. After a slow start in qualifying (including a loss at home to Germany and a tie in Finland), England stormed back to win its group with five straight victories (including a 5-1 victory over Germany) and a draw against Greece. England's squad is led by captain/midfielder David Beckham and forward Michael Owen, the 2001 World Soccer Player of the Year. Beckham, who plays for Manchester United, is coming off a broken foot he suffered in April.

FIFA WORLD CUP 2002 ON ABC SPORTS:
ABC Sports, the network of soccer, will air nine World Cup 2002 matches (beginning Saturday, June 1), including the live telecast of the title match from Yokohama, Japan, SUNDAY, JUNE 30 (6:30 a.m. ET), with a re-broadcast that same day at 12:30 p.m. ET.

COMPLETE WORLD CUP TV SCHEDULE
June 1 3:30 p.m. ET Ireland vs. Cameroon
June 2 3:30 p.m. ET England vs. Sweden
June 8 1 p.m. ET Argentina vs. England
June 15 1 p.m. ET Poland vs. United States
June 15 3:30 p.m. ET Round of 16 Match
June 16 1:30 p.m. ET Round of 16 Match
June 22 1:30 p.m. ET Quarterfinal Match
June 29 1:30 p.m. ET Third Place Match
June 30 6:30 a.m. ET Championship Match (LIVE)
June 30 12:30 p.m. ET Championship Match (REPLAY)


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ABC Sports announces World Cup schedule