World Cup fever has already arrived at one North East pub.
The Robin Hood, in Jarrow, South Tyneside, has been decorated with hundreds of flags, including the flags of all 32 countries taking part in this summer's World Cup in Brazil.
The pub landlord, Norman Scott, said the venture has taken considerable time and money. He said: "It's taken about a month putting them all over the roof, in the new World Cup area [beer garden] and out on the front. It's been fun."
Norman plans to take the flags down during the course of the tournament as and when countries are eliminated.
Police say football hooligans in the region who have received banning orders have today and tomorrow to surrender their passports ahead of the World Cup in Brazil.
There were more than 50 banning orders handed out after the violence that marred the Tyne/Wear derby in April of last year.
Police say anyone who doesn't hand their passport in could face court action.
Former England, Manchester United & Middlesbrough player Gary Pallister helped to demonstrate the effects of alcohol, with "beer goggles", which simulate some of the effects of being drunk:
He was at the launch of an anti-drink-drive campaign launched by Cleveland & Durham Police.
Football fans are being reminded of the dangers of drink driving ahead of the start of this year's World Cup. The campaign has been launched, jointly, by Durham and Cleveland Police. The main focus is to warn people that they may still be over the legal limit the morning AFTER drinking alcohol.
If you are found to be over the limit the next day you will be dealt with and prosecuted for the offence just as if you had got behind the wheel when intoxicated at the time. Driving in this state could easily lead to a serious or fatal crash because the driver is still affected from last night's alcohol. Our message is simple - don't risk it.
Due to the time difference in Brazil, some matches will be shown as late as 11 o' clock at night. This could increase the chance of alcohol still being in a person's system. The message also applies to drugs.
The campaign will be officially launched by former England and Middlesbrough star Gary Pallister this afternoon. He'll be joined by players from Middlesbrough's Youth Academy and Hartlepool United.
A volunteer is swapping one football-loving city for another 6000 miles away, just in time for the 2014 World Cup.
Michael Gardner normally coaches children in Newcastle, but he is flying out to Brazil this week to work with children in the poorest neighbourhoods of Curitiba, the largest city in the south of the country.
A replica of the trophy, known as the first world cup, is on display in Durham this weekend.
The Sir Thomas Lipton trophy was won by West Auckland at a football tournament in Turin in 1909. The competition also included sides from Italy, Germany and Switzerland.
The trophy was stolen in 1994 and was never recovered. A replica was created, which is on display at West Auckland Workingmen's Club.
Today (17th November), the trophy is at Grey College in Durham as part of a talk by the world cup interpreter, George Scanlan.
The free talk is taking place at 2:15pm at Holgate House.
A statue has been unveiled to celebrate a County Durham football team winning the first ever world cup. West Auckland won the trophy in 1909 and again in 1911.
Watch the video
A statue has been unveiled at West Auckland Village Green to commemorate the village's victory in the first ever world cup.