Story dated 6th May 2002.

As one of the top teams in this summer's World Cup prepares to fly out to Japan for the finals, they have to make sure all the essentials are waiting for them on arrival.

Three-time world champions Italy are shipping pasta, parmesan cheese and olive oil to their base in time for the first round group phase at Sendai on May 15.

But apart from the edible necessities they are also bringing their favourite pinball games with them.

Pinball isn't too popular in the Far East so to make sure they can get their daily pinball fix a number of games are being flown half way around the world.

Details of which games they are sending aren't known yet but when the team takes to the field against group-members Ecuador, Croatia and Mexico you can be sure they've been practising their ball skills.

The World Cup kicks-off on May 31st with defending champions France playing Senegal in Seoul and concludes with the final on June 30th.


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