Soccer fever has gripped Trinidad and Tobago, the smallest country to qualify for the World Cup tournament in Germany since the World Cup began in 1930.

The event marks the first time that the countrys team will compete on soccers grandest stage in front of a worldwide television audience.

The Soca Warriors (the name comes from the countrys native soca music, a blend of calypso and reggae) arrived in Germany June 4 and will play their first match in the preliminary round in the 2006 World Cup on June 10 in Dortmund against Sweden. The teams next two matches will pit them against teams from England (June 15) and Paraguay (June 20).

Sales of large screen television sets have skyrocketed in Trinidad and Tobago, and many stores reported selling out of TVs and red commemorative Soca Warriors bracelets.

Officials at the Airports Authority said 50-inch plasma TV sets have been installed at the departure lounges at both Piarco Airport in Trinidad and Crown Point Airport in Tobago.

To keep up with the Soca Warriors (or any of the 32 teams still involved), log onto http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com/06/en/.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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