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Sunday, June 14, 2009

2009 FIFA Confederations Cup from South Africa

One&Only Cape Town: Lunch To Benefit The Mandela Childrens Foundation
The great Humanitarian, the Honorable Nelson Mandela.

Image courtesy of FIFA.

This quadrennial event will kickoff today when South Africa faces Iraq, and Spain (unbeaten in 32 games since 2006) meets New Zealand.

The final will take place on Sunday 28 June 2009. Usually, the competition serves as a practice run for the host country for the subsequent World Cup. It also provides several teams with valuable experience if and when they qualify for the competition.
Soccer City World Cup 2010
Outside of the new Soccer City facility.

Weather and Altitude Factor

In the Southern Hemisphere, June occurs in winter. Since the World Cup takes place during the summer, next year will see the first winter competition since 1978 in Argentina. The Confederations Cup will provide a unique advantage for teams to acclimatize who qualify next year for the World Cup. There is also the factor of altitude at various venues in South Africa.

Host Cities
  • Bloemfontein
  • Johannesburg
  • Pretoria
  • Rustenburg
Group A

South Africa (host)
Iraq (AFC)
New Zealand (OFC)
Spain (UEFA)

Group B

Brasil (Defending champion from CONMEBOL)
Egypt (CAF)
Italy (World Cup champion)

Ellis Park Johannesburg World Cup 2010
Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

Schedule for Italy

Luca Toni Italy 2008/09
Luca Toni in action against Brasil earlier this year at The Emirates.
  • Pretoria, 15 June versus USA at 2030 local time.
  • Johannesburg, 18 June versus Egpyt at 2030 local time.
  • Pretoria, 21 June versus Brasil at 2030 local time
Schedule for the USA

SOCCER: JUN 06 FIFA World Cup Qualifier - Honduras at United States
Carlos Bocanegra after he scored the winning goal last week against
Honduras in Chicago.
  • Pretoria, 15 June versus Italy at 2030 local time.
  • Pretoria, 18 June versus Brasil at 1600 local time.
  • Rustenburg, 21 June versus Egypt at 2030 local time.
The top two from each group qualify for the elimination round.

Elimination Round (Courtesy of Wikipedia.)
Semi finals

2009-06-24 - Bloemfontein

Flag of ? Winners of GrouGrap GA Spain

Flag of ? Runners-up of Group B USA

2009-06-28 - Johannesburg

Flag of ? Winners of Match 13

Flag of ? Winners of Match 14

Third place

2009-06-25 - Johannesburg
2009-06-28 - Rustenburg

Flag of ? Winners of Group B Brasil

Flag of ? Losers of Match 13

Flag of ? Runners-up of Group A South Africa

Flag of ? Losers of Match 14

For a complete tournament draw, please click here.

Controversial Referee Selected

Jorge Larrionda of Uruguay has been selected to officiate at this competition. He has a somewhat controversial history with Italy and the USA. During World Cup 2006, he issued four yellow cards, along with three red cards, respectively, in the group round game between the two sides. FIFA has not yet assigned referees for specific matches, and it would be intriguing to see him involved in their rematch.

Soccer City World Cup 2010
Soccer City in Soweto.

  • The winner of the Confederations Cup has never won the next World Cup. For this reason, Mister Lippi said "I hope we don't win it."
  • This will be the first appearance for Iraq, Italy, and Spain.
  • Brasil defeated Italy, 2 x 0, in a friendly earlier this year at The Emirates in London. They have never played twice in one year, and potentially could face each other three times in 2009.
Mister Lippi Upon the Azzurri Arrival in South Africa

The Azzurri will train in a village called Irene which is between Pretoria and Johannesburg. On Wednesday, they will have a friendly with New Zealand in Pretoria.

"...il match più importante sarà il primo - sottolinea Lippi, riferendosi alla partita d'esordio contro gli Stati Uniti - dobbiamo fare in modo di battere i nostri primi avversari perchè se la prima partita va bene, allora andranno bene anche quelle dopo. Se invece va male, sarà più difficile per noi recuperare".
"The most important match will be the first, underlined Lippi, referring to the opening game against the United States. 'We have to beat in style our first opponents because if the first game goes well, those that follow will go well. If instead it goes poorly, it will be more difficult for us to recover."
Source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, 8 June 2009.

TV Coverage in North America

In North America, several networks will provide live coverage.
  • ESPN (English)
  • Galavision (Spanish)
  • Telefutura (Spanish)
  • Univision (Spanish)
The time difference is +2 UTC, which translates into -6 in New York, -7 in Chicago, -8 in Denver, and -9 on the West Coast.

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