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Eye of Dubai
Sports | Saturday 3 October, 2015 3:06 am |
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Alshehri wants to defend his title in New York City

As the first season of the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2016 (FIWC 2016) officially kicks off, players now have even more motivation to qualify for the Grand Final with the news that it will be held in New York City.

The 2016 Grand Final location lives up to the tradition of hosting the tournament’s decisive showdown at memorable and iconic destinations around the world, with previous events held in Munich, Rio de Janeiro, Dubai and Madrid.

Speaking about the competition’s penultimate event, reigning FIWC Champion Abdulaziz Alshehri from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia said: "Being part of the Grand Final in New York is a dream come true for me. I am deeply grateful to have the chance to defend my title in this amazing city."

Joining Alshehri in New York City will be 30 competitors who qualified online as well as the winner of the Host Country Qualifier. The 2016 Grand Final of the FIWC is the first time in the history of the tournament that players on dual platforms – the Xbox One and PlayStation®4 – will be able compete against each other to be crowned champion and take home USD 20,000 in prize money and an invitation to the prestigious FIFA Ballon d'Or annual awards ceremony.

“We are pleased to follow the recent announcement of the changes to the tournament structure for 2016 with this exciting news of the Grand Final location,” said Thierry Weil, FIFA Marketing Director. “I have no doubt this news will encourage even more people to register for the FIFA Interactive World Cup than ever before.”

Online qualifications will take place on the PlayStation and Xbox networks through the latest version of EA SPORTS™ FIFA 16. Players have the opportunity to compete in three seasons of the tournament, running from October through December 2015.

About FIWC
The FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC) is a virtual football tournament organised by FIFA and its presenting partner EA SPORTS™. It is an official FIFA tournament that gives football fans from every continent the chance to battle it out to qualify for the FIWC Grand Final where finalists compete for the title of the best virtual footballer in the world. The winner receives a cash prize of USD 20,000 and an invitation for two people to the FIFA Ballon d’Or annual awards ceremony.

The Numbers
• The inaugural FIWC took place in 2004
• The tournament featured in the Guinness World Records for the first time in 2010 with the distinction of being the largest gaming tournament in the world
• The tournament has continued to grow significantly with a record of 2.5 million players signing up in 2013
• Almost one million fans follow the FIFA Interactive World Cup on Facebook
• The FIWC 2016 could possibly become bigger than ever before with players participating on both Xbox One and PlayStation®4 consoles for the very first time

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