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Goooaaal! Google, Mozilla Kick In Soccer Fix

UPDATED: Though many in the U.S. couldn't care less about the 2006 FIFA World Cup, it is nonetheless the world's most popular sporting event.

That's a fact not lost on global search behemoth Google or the open source Mozilla people either, for that matter.

Mozilla has officially released a new browser extension for the Mozilla Firefox 1.5.x browser that directly links the browser with the Joga.com Soccer community that is run by Google and global footwear and apparel giant Nike.

Joga Bonito means "Play Beautiful" in Portuguese and joga.com is an online community that allows soccer fans to stay linked to the latest news and events coming out of the soccer world.

The Firefox extension, called the Joga.com Companion allows users to track their team, view videos, join communities and theme their browser with their nation's colors.

The extension is available for Windows, Linux and Macintosh in English in addition to French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Portuguese.

"The Joga.com Companion is a great way for everyone who loves soccer to join a worldwide community of fans, show pride in their team, follow all the action and stay connected while online," Christopher Beard, vice president of marketing and product management of Mozilla Corp., said in a statement.

The Joga.com Companion is hardly the first collaboration between Google and Mozilla. Google is one of Mozilla's biggest backers pumping millions of dollars a year into the open source browser coffers.

Google also employs some key Mozilla staff including Firefox's lead engineer Ben Goodger.

On the development front, Google has contributed much to Mozilla in terms of extensions recently.

Earlier this month, Google rolled out Google Browser Sync which is a Firefox extension that continuously synchronizes browser settings across a users' various computers.

Google's Safe Browsing Extension is another example of Google's contribution to Mozilla.

That feature aims to help prevent identity theft by helping users avoid phishing sites. Mozilla developers found the feature so useful and important that the Safe Browsing extension is now being baked into the next generation Firefox 2.0 browser set to debut later this year.

For those who can be in Germany for the 2006 World Cup, they’ll be able to test drive one of the largest voice and data communications networks ever built for a sports event. According to Avaya  the network is expected to handle in excess of 15 trillion bytes of voice and data traffic. Avaya is the Official Convergence Communication provider for the 2006 FIFA World Cup and has built a voice and data network connection all 12 FIFA World Cup stadiums as part of a setup that includes over 70 locations in total.

Updates prior version to clarifyGoogle’s involvement with the development of the actual extension. Nike and Google made joga.com available and Mozilla developed and made the companion available.