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Page last updated at 11:08 GMT, Monday, 6 October 2008 12:08 UK

SA seeded for Confederations Cup

The Confederations Cup trophy
South Africa will host the 2009 Confederations Cup
Hosts South Africa will be among the seeds for next year's Confederations Cup, world football's governing body Fifa has announced.

Bafana Bafana will also play in the opening match of the two-week tournament, a Group A fixture at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on 14 June.

The other seeded countries will be named soon, Fifa added.

World Cup holders Italy and continental champions Brazil, Egypt, Iraq, New Zealand, Spain and the United States complete the line-up ahead of the 22 November draw for the tournament.

The challengers for a title held by Brazil will be split into two pools with nations from the same confederation separated, meaning Egypt go in Group B and Italy and Spain are kept apart.

Being seeded is a boost for South Africa, who are below five of the other seven teams in the Fifa rankings and failed to qualify for the 2010 African Nations Cup in Angola after winning just one of five qualifiers.

Bafana Bafana will also avoid Brazil, who defeated Argentina 4-1 in the previous final four years ago in Germany, as well as dodging Italy or Spain in the traditional dress rehearsal for the World Cup.

The Confederations Cup has assumed extra importance for 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa amid international media concerns over stadium building deadlines, regular power supply, supporters' security and infrastructure.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has urged South African officials to use the Confederations Cup to dispel doubts about the ability of the first African hosts of the World Cup to stage a successful tournament.

see also
South Africa win at last
01 Oct 08 |  African
World Cup 'safe' from SA turmoil
24 Sep 08 |  Business
Bafana continue winless streak
10 Sep 08 |  African
South Africa crash out
06 Sep 08 |  African
2010 World Cup Qualifiers
22 Jun 08 |  African

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