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Match Schedule Approved

At its meeting in Zurich on 12 March, the Organising Committee for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009, chaired by FIFA Vice-President Issa Hayatou (Cameroon), approved the regulations and the football match schedule for the competition, which will take place at either four or five South African venues from 14 to 28 June.
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter highlighted the importance of the competition: “The FIFA Football Confederations Cup is first and foremost a top football event as it pits the champions of all six confederations, the current world champions and the host country South Africa against each other. At the same time, it is an ideal test run for the organisers of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in terms of infrastructure, logistics and services. As in Germany in 2005, we are looking forward to a festival of champions and thrilling matches.”
In order to appropriately reflect the standing of the competition, the committee agreed to award total prize money of USD 17.6 million. The winner will receive USD 3.75 million, while USD 3.25 million will be awarded to the runners-up, USD 2.75 million to the third-placed team and USD 2.25 million to the fourth-placed team. The teams ranked fifth to eighth will each receive USD 1.4 million.
The competition is scheduled to be played at the five venues of Johannesburg (Ellis Park), Rustenburg, Mangaung/ Bloemfontein, Tshwane/Pretoria and Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth, although a final decision will be taken on 29 April as to whether or not the Confederations Cup can be staged at the latter stadium. Consequently, the committee approved two match schedules, one with five venues and one with four. Both schedules envisage South Africa playing at three different venues and contesting the opening match after being seeded At in the draw, which will be held in Johannesburg on Saturday, 22 November in conjunction with a team workshop.
On behalf of the local organising committee (LOC), CEO Dr Danny Jordaan gave a comprehensive report on preparations, highlighting the progress being made in terms of football stadium construction, training facilities and other planning and operational matters.
To ensure seamless and efficient cooperation in the build-up to the competition, the committee’s composition is designed to reflect the field of teams that will compete in 2009. At the meeting, representatives of Italy (world football champions) and hosts South Africa were joined by counterparts from Iraq (Asian football champions), Egypt (African football champions), the USA (CONCACAF football champions) and Brazil (South American football champions). EURO 2008 in Switzerland and Austria this June as well as the OFC Nations Cup will determine the two remaining participants and committee members. Should Italy win EURO 2008, the runners-up will participate in the FIFA Confederations Cup.
For the release of players, the committee took into account that further international dates have been added to the international match calendar in June 2009. For this reason, the release period will be shortened from 14 to five days before the start of the competition.