KAZAN: World champions Germany will face Chile, Australia and the champions of Africa in the group stage of next year’s FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.
Before the draw, Germany coach Joachim Low had cautioned that he might not send his strongest team to the Confederations Cup., saying: “Three summer tournaments in a row is not sensible for some players”
The draw for the eight-team tournament took place in Kazan with Low’s side placed in Group B alongside the Copa America champions, Asian Cup holders and the winners of the 2017 African Nations Cup, which is due to be held in Gabon in January and February.
In Group A, Euro 2016 winners Portugal will play hosts Russia, Gold Cup winners Mexico and OFC Nations Cup holders New Zealand. Russia and New Zealand will contest the tournament’s opening match on June 17 at the Krestovsky Stadium in St Petersburg, with the final due to be staged at the same venue on July 2.
Matches will also be played in Moscow, Sochi and Kazan.
FIFA has been staging the Confederations Cup since 1997. Previously, two editions took place as the King Fahd Cup. Germany will be taking part for the third time next year. In 1999 they went out in the first round before finishing third in 2005.
Brazil have triumphed at the last three tournaments, held in 2005, 2009 and 2013, while Mexico – Confederations Cup champions in 1999 – are the only country taking part to have previously won the competition.
The draw was undertaken by FIFA’s deputy general secretary Zvonimir Boban, competitions manager Colin Smith, former Russia player Sergey Semak, and the former Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino would not be drawn into discussoing the futu5re of the competition which is up for question because of the timing switch of the 2022 World Cup.
He said: “Everything is out on the table. No decision has been made.”