Uefa Euro 2008 mascot launched in Vienna

Europe?s next festival of football will have a duo to bring it luck. Dressed in red and white football strips, the dynamic twins sport the national colours of both the host countries, Austria and Switzerland.

Their bright red, pointy hairstyles mirror the shape of the mountain peaks symbolically depicted in the official Uefa Euro 2008 logo.

At a media conference Uefa CEO Lars-Christer Olsson, Euro 2008 SA Board of Administration Chairman and president of the Swiss Football Association Euro 2008 SA Board of Administration member and president of the Austrian Football Association Ralph Zloczower Friedrich Stickler and Warner Bros. Consumer Products VP Bruno Schwobthaler spoke about the creation, development and marketing of the official mascots, as well as their characters.

Then it was time for their first appearance: forming 2008 with their shirt numbers as they stood side by side, the dynamic duo walked onto the stage ? with the immediate aim of winning the hearts of football fans all over Europe.

After the media conference, the two mascots got into a horse-drawn carriage and set off for the Stephansplatz. From here, an eight-carriage escort of 32 children, chosen by two of the Uefa Euro 2008 sponsors, McDonald?s and Telekom Austria, accompanied the mascots, where the Viennese public had the opportunity for a close-up view.

Football fans can also choose mascot names. The first appearance of the twin mascots on a football pitch is scheduled for 11 October, when Austria will host Switzerland in a friendly match in Innsbruck. On 10 October, the day before the Austria v Switzerland friendly, the twin mascots will be 'christened' in Innsbruck. Their names will be chosen by football fans in Switzerland and Austria, who will be able to vote between 27 September and 8 October for one of the following pairs of names:

? Zagi and Zigi

? Flitz and Bitz

? Trix and Flix

The fans in Austria and Switzerland will have three ways of voting:

? On, where all participants will be entered in a draw to win mascot prizes (voting 27 September - 8 October).

? In McDonald?s restaurants in Switzerland and Austria, with one voter in each country winning two tickets for the friendly match in Innsbruck on 11 October (voting till 5 October).

? On the hotline number of Austria?s first Uefa Euro 2008 National Supporter Telekom Austria with two voters winning one ticket.

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