Saturday, 22 November 2008

FIFA Confederations Cup draw

Italy have been handed a tough draw in next year's FIFA Confederations Cup to be held in South Africa by being drawn with Brazil.

Draw in JohannesburgAs well as taking on the South American champions, the reigning World champions will also play African champions Egypt and North/Central American champions USA in Group B following the draw held in Johannesburg today.

The intercontinental tournament, scheduled for June 14-28, should provide a tantalising appetiser ahead of world football's main course - the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals.

The hosts South Africa have been drawn with Euro 2008 winners Spain in Group A. Iraq and New Zealand, champions of Asia and Oceania respectively, complete that section.

The teams will play their group opponents once with the top two teams progressing to the semi final stages.

Maintaining tradition, the opening fixture will feature the host nation as they tackle Iraq on June 14 followed later by New Zealand against Spain.

Marcello Lippi's side will open their campaign on June 15 with the USA in Pretoria. They then play Egypt in Johannesburg on June 18, before going head-to-head with holders Brazil back in Pretoria on June 21.

The tournament is being played at four of the 10 World Cup venues - Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg and Ellis Park in Johannesburg, which will host the final on June 28.

Branded the "festival of champions", the quadrennial two-week tournament will serve as an on and off-field dress rehearsal for the World Cup one year later.

Group A
South Africa, Iraq, New Zealand & Spain.

Group B
USA, Italy, Brazil & Egypt.

Group Fixtures
Sunday 14 June
Johannesburg - South Africa 0-0 Iraq (1500)
Rustenburg - New Zealand 0-5 Spain (1930)
Monday 15 June
Bloemfontein - Brazil 4-3 Egypt (1500)
Pretoria - USA 1-3 Italy (1930)
Wednesday 17 June
Bloemfontein - Spain 1-0 Iraq (1500)
Rustenburg - South Africa 2-0 New Zealand (1930)
Thursday 18 June
Pretoria - USA 0-3 Brazil (1500)
Johannesburg - Egypt 1-0 Italy (1930)
Saturday 20 June
Johannesburg - Iraq 0-0 New Zealand (1930)
Bloemfontein - Spain 2-0 South Africa (1930)
Sunday 21 June
Pretoria - Italy 0-3 Brazil (1930)
Rustenburg - Egypt 0-3 USA (1930)

Semi-Final Fixtures
Wednesday 24 June
Bloemfontein - Spain 0-2 USA (1930)
Thursday 25 June
Johannesburg - Brazil 1-0 South Africa (1930)

Sunday 28 June
Rustenburg - Spain 3-2 South Africa AET (1400)

Sunday 28 June
Johannesburg - USA 2-3 Brazil (1930)

* All kick off times stated are UK time. +1hr for Italy, CET and local South African time. The BBC (UK) and Rai/Sky Sport (Italy) will cover the full tournament live.

[Italy Squad] - [Italy 3-0 N.Ireland] - [Italy 4-3 New Zealand]

follow the tournament in full here

Source: FIFA

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