2009 Confederations Cup FAQ

The 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup takes place in South Africa from 14 to 28 June 2009. The draw has been made, and tickets have gone on sale, for Fifa’s “Festival of Champions” – a dress rehearsal for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

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 World Cup readiness – and a major sporting event in its own right, bringing together regional champions from all corners of the globe.

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.

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?

Make no mistake. 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.

According to Wikipedia, 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, says Wikipedia, 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:

  • 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?

Johannesburg

The economic hub of Africa, Johannesburg is a bustling, sprawling city of contrasts, spread across the small but densely populated province of Gauteng.

Pretoria

Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa, lying north of Johannesburg in the province of Gauteng. Over 150 years old, it is a place of grand monuments, delightful architecture and lovely open spaces.

Bloemfontein

The former capital of a Boer republic and now capital of the Free State, Bloemfontein – the name means “flower fountain” – is a pretty city with thousands of rose bushes and some poignant memorials.

  • Bloemfontein: quick profile
  • Nearest airport: Bloemfontein Airport
  • Stadium: Free State Stadium
  • Matches: Three group matches and a semi-final.

Rustenburg

Its tranquil Jacaranda-lined streets belie the fact that the Rustenburg area in North West province is one of the world’s most heavily mined regions, with a wealth of platinum underground.

  • Nearest airport: OR Tambo International
  • Stadium: Royal Bafokeng Stadium
  • Matches: Three group matches and the third-place runner-up match.

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.

A full list of ticket options available for both South African and international spectators is available here.

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 branche countrywide.

Want to know more?

How will I get to South Africa? How will I get around? What will the weather be like? Who are Bafana Bafana? What’s a vuvuzela?! Are there lions in the streets? … Check out our South Africa 2010 FAQ.

SAinfo reporter

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