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Confederations Cup
01 June 2009

The 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup takes place in South Africa from 14 to 28 June 2009 and three matches will be played at the Vodacom Bulls’ Loftus Versfeld.

Played in the World Cup host country a year before football's premier event, the Confederations Cup has become a serious test of the host country's readiness to host the World Cup.

Who will be taking part?

The current World Cup champion, the new host country, and the winners of each of the six Fifa confederation championships - ie the reigning African, Asian, European, Oceanian, South American and Concacaf (North and Central America and the Caribbean) champions.

In 2009, the participating teams will be African champs Egypt, Asian champs Iraq, European champs Spain, Oceanian champs New Zealand, South American champs Brazil, Concacaf champs USA, 2006 World Cup winners Italy, and 2010 hosts South Africa.

What does the draw look like?

The draw for the tournament took place on 22 November 2008, splitting the eight teams into two groups and setting up some classic clashes.

Hosts South Africa, who were seeded on Group A, will open the competition against Iraq at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on 14 June, immediately following the opening ceremony.

One of the matches expected to set the tournament alight is the meeting between Italy and previous World Cup winners Brazil. It will be the first time that Italy and Spain play competitive matches on African soil - and the first time that New Zealand play any kind of soccer match in Africa - while the Brazilians will be making only their second visit in 10 years.

Is it a serious tournament?

It may have had humble beginnings, but it has become one of Fifa's most important events, as can be seen from the prize money at stake - US$17.6-million in total. Of this, the winner will take home $3.75-million, the runners-up $3.25-million, the third-placed team $2.75-million and the fourth-placed team $2.25-million. The other fours teams will each receive $1.4-million.

The tournament has its origins in the King Fahd Cup, held in Saudi Arabia in 1992 and 1995 and contested by the Saudi Arabian national side and a few continental champions. Fifa took over the running of the competition in 1997 renaming it the Fifa Confederations Cup and staging the tournament every two years up until 2005.

In 2005, Fifa decided to hold the tournament every four years - one year before the World Cup, in the World Cup host country - making it more or less officially a dress rehearsal for the World Cup.

Previous Confederations Cup tournaments and winners:

1997: Saudi Arabia (winner Brazil)

1999: Mexico (winner Mexico)

2001: South Korea/Japan (winner France)

2003: France (winner France)

2005: Germany (winner Brazil)

Which cities are hosting matches?

Pretoria, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Rustenburg

How much do the tickets cost?

Tickets went on sale on 22 November 2008, and are priced according to various categories. Category 4, the cheapest, is available only to South Africans, with prices ranging from R70 for a group match to R210 for the final.

Where can I buy tickets?

Tickets are available online from the Fifa 2009 Confederations Cup website. If you're in South Africa, they can also be bought at any First National Bank branch countrywide.

VIDEO
Highlights of the Absa Currie Cup match between the Vodacom Blue Bulls and MTN Golden Lions from Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
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