World Football: 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup Groups Announced

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World Football: 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup Groups Announced
Photo Courtesy of FiFA.com

Amidst all the domestic league action in Europe on Saturday, FIFA announced the results of the draw for the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil. 

The tournament is used as a test run for the World Cup which is held the year after the Confederations Cup with the same nation hosting both tournaments.

The eight-team field consists of the host nation, Brazil; defending World Cup champion, Spain; and the six continental champions. 

Hosts Brazil were drawn in Group A along with Italy, Mexico and Japan while defending World Cup champions Spain were drawn with Tahiti, Uruguay and the 2013 African Cup of Nations winner in Group B.

FIFA made sure that the two nations from South America and Europe were not paired with each other in the group stage as Uruguay were separated from Brazil and Italy from Spain. 

Play in the group stage will begin on June 15 when Brazil will host Asian champions Japan in the nation's capital of Brasilia. 

CONCACAF champions Mexico will play Italy, who qualified for the tournament after finishing second at Euro 2012 as Spain had already qualified for the tournament through the 2010 World Cup, in their opener on June 16 at the famous Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

Group B will start play on June 16 with Spain taking on CONMEBOL champions Uruguay in Recife with OFC champions Tahiti playing the winner of the 2013 African Cup of Nations on June 17 in Belo Horizonte

In group play, each team will play each other once with the top two teams from each group advancing to the knockout stage. 

The winners of the two semifinal matches will square off in the final on June 30 at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro

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