Brazil to meet Japan in Confederations Cup opener

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Sun, Dec 02, 2012 05:40 hrs

Sao Paulo, Dec 2 (IANS) Host nation Brazil will meet Japan in the opening match of the 2013 Confederations Cup, football's world governing body FIFA said.

World and European champions Spain have been drawn to play its first game of the tournament against Uruguay while Italy will debut against Mexico, reports Xinhua.

Oceania champion Tahiti will kick off its campaign against the yet-to-be-decided winner of the African Cup of Nations.

The draw in Sao Paulo pitted Brazil in Group A alongside Italy, Mexico and Japan while Group B comprises Spain, Uruguay, Tahiti and the African champion.

The first match is in the capital Brasilia and the final at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium.

Held from June 15-30, the Confederations Cup is considered a prelude to the 2014 World Cup, also to be staged in Brazil.

"We have the mission to win the Confederations Cup on the field, but we also have the obligation to be victorious off the field," Brazil president Dilma Rousseff said after the draw Saturday.

"We are preparing to organise an extraordinary Confederations Cup. We will show the world in 2013 that Brazil has all the conditions to host the 2014 World Cup, and that it will be the best organised and the most festive of all time."

FIFA says 130,000 tickets have already been sold for the tournament.

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