ST PETERSBURG: Australia, the Asian champions, will miss captain Mile Jedinak for the Confederations Cup which starts in Russia on Saturday after he aggravated a groin injury in a World Cup qualifier last week.

The 32-year-old Aston Villa defensive midfielder pulled up after the 3-2 win over Saudi Arabia in Adelaide last Thursday.

The Confederations Cup features the champions of the six continental federations – Chile, Portugal, Cameroon, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand – plus hosts Russia and the current world champions Germany.

It starts on Saturday in St Petersburg and ends on July 2 with matches also being staged in Moscow, Kazan and Sochi.

Jedinak said: “I’m disappointed to miss the Confederations Cup as it is something we have been looking forward to and working towards since we won the Asian Cup.

“But we have some crucial games coming up over the next 12 months leading into the World Cup for which I need to be fit and firing.”

Jedinak, who has scored 15 goals, mostly from the penalty spot, for Australia, will be replaced in Ange Postecoglou’s squad by uncapped Sturm Graz midfielder James Jeggo.

Postecoglou said: “Losing Mile is a blow as he is not only an important member of the midfield but a great leader amongst the group. He has had a tough period since Christmas with his groin and we all agree it is in the best long term interest of Mile and the Socceroos that he has a break.

“He will take a break to ensure he is ready for the season ahead with his club and what is also an important 12 months for the national team, beginning with the (World Cup) qualifiers in August/September.”

Australia have also been forced to replace Bournemohth defender Bradley Smith with Rosenborg Trondheim’s Alex Gersbach.

Cameroon will be without fullback Ambroise Oyongo after he ruptured knee tendons in a 1-0 African Nations qualifying win over Morocco on Saturday. He is being flown to Canada for surgery after Cameroon consulted his club Montreal Impact immediately after the game.

Oyongo, who moved to Major League Soccer from Cameroon club Coton Sport three years ago, was an ever present for Cameroon as they won the Nations Cup in Gabon at the start of the year, which secured their spot in the Confederations Cup.

Mexico have replaced injured forward Jesus Corona with Tigres’ Juergen Damm.

** FIFA has confirmed Russian reports that it has reached an agreement on broadcasting rights and fees for the Confederations Cup. Rights have been granted to the 2SPORT2 consortium, representing Channel One, RTR and Match TV, which it said would ensure “comprehensive TV, internet, mobile and radio coverage of the competition.”

The deal averted the embarrassing possibility of the eight-team tournament, which is seen as a dress rehearsal for next year’s World Cup in Russia, not being shown in the host nation.

Confederations Cup matches would be shown live on free-to-air television by Channel 1 and Match TV. Live radio transmissions would be provided by RTR, it said.

FIFA’s new chief commercial officer Philippe Le Floc’h – for whom this issue was a first major test – said:¬†“We are delighted to be working with such prestigious broadcast partners to transmit the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 on free-to-air television in the host country.”