Russia: Important factfiles on the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup

Moscow, Russia (PANA) - The following are all you must know ahead of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup opener on Saturday.

1. When is the FIFA Confederations Cup? - The showpiece will run from 17 June to July 2nd 2017.

2. Where will it be held? - Russia. The European nation was handed the hosting right on 2 December, 2010, after being confirmed as the host of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It will be the first time that Russia will host the tournament, and the third time that the FIFA Confederations Cup will be held on the European continent.

3. What about the match venues? - 16 games will be played across four venues:

Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg

Otkrytiye Arena, Moscow

Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi

Kazan Arena, Kazan

All four venues will also be among the 12 used for the 2018 World Cup.

4.  Who are the participating countries? - Eight national football teams will slug it out. They include six regional champions, the host nation and current World Cup holders.

Africa (CAF) – Cameroon

Asia (AFC) – Australia

Europe (UEFA) – Portugal

Host – Russia

North America (CONCACAF) – Mexico

Oceania (OFC) – New Zealand

South America (CONMEBOL) – Chile

World Cup – Germany

5.  Any debutant? - Yes. Aside from Germany, Cameroon, Mexico and Australia, the other teams have never made it to the tournament. They are Russia, Portugal, Chile and New Zealand.

6.  Who’re the defending champions? - None as current champions, Brazil, failed to qualify.

Brazil. the South American giants, who have won the competition a record four times won’t be at the showpiece. Instead, Chile will fly the continent’s flag in Russia after winning the last COPA America.

7.  What’s the competition format? - All eight teams are drawn into two four-team groups and will play in a single round- robin manner. After the group stage, the top two teams from each group will advance to the knockout phase. This is where the four teams will compete in single-elimination matches, beginning with the semi-finals and ending with the final match of the tournament. A third-place match will also be played between the two losing semi-finalist teams.

8.  How were the teams grouped? - Host, Russia, as expected are drawn in Group A alongside Portugal, Mexico and New Zealand. World champions Germany, meanwhile, will face Chile, Cameroon and Australia in Group B.

9.  Stars to watch - Ronaldo will be one of the biggest stars on parade in Russia. Loads of stars will be expected to ignite the tournament, among which are Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Alexis Sanchez (Chile) and Thomas Muller (Germany). Others are Christian Bassogog (Cameroon), Carlos Vela (Mexico) and Mile Jedinak (Australia).

10.  Who are the favourites? - Mexico is the only previous winners in the competition but everyone will be expecting Germany to better their third place finish of 2005. Ronaldo’s Portugal alongside Sanchez’s Chile are two sides who could give Die Mannschaft a run for their money.

11.  What about the underdogs? - New Zealand (95) heads to the competition as the lowest ranked team. It will take something close to a miracle for the All Whites to emerge as champions.

12.  Betting odds - Germany 2/1, Portugal 11/4, Chile 3/1, Russia 9/1, Mexico 10/1, Cameroon 16/1, Australia 33/1 and New Zealand 250/1.
-0- PANA VAO/MA 15June2017

15 june 2017 06:48:33

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