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Kazan hosts FIFA Confederations Cup draw ceremony

The draw for the FIFA Confederations Cup has concluded in Kazan, as Moscow, Sochi, Kazan, and Saint Petersburg prepare to host the international tournament next summer – a year ahead of the much-anticipated FIFA World Cup 2018.

The tournament, which will run from June 17 to July 2, 2017, will be contested by the holders of various Federation championships (UEFA, CONMEBOL, CONCACAF, CAF, AFC, OFC), together with FIFA World Cup holder, Germany, and the host nation, Russia.

Group tables were determined during the draw ceremony in Kazan on Saturday. Following the draw, it was decided that European champion Portugal will face hosts Russia in Group A, along with Mexico and New Zealand. Russia will play New Zealand in the opening game at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg.However, the Portugal-Mexico match in Kazan on June 18 is expected to take center stage in Group A.

In Group B, the Kazan Arena will host the highly anticipated Germany-Chile match on June 22. That group will also include Australia and the African champion, which will be determined in February.

The tournament which is to be held at newly built facilities in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, and Sochi, is seen as the grand rehearsal for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. It’s a key test of Russia’s preparations for the big event.

In a meeting with FIFA President Gianni Infantino on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that all stadiums for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup would be built in time.

Meanwhile, FIFA announced that the total prize pool of the 2017 Confederations Cup will be $20 million.

“The winner of the final, which will take place in Saint Petersburg on July 2, 2017, will receive $4.1 million, with the runner-up taking home $3.6 million,” FIFA said Friday. “Three million dollars awaits the third-placed team, while the other semi-finalist will receive $2.5 million.”

Four teams that do not advance beyond the group stage will receive $1.7ml. Almost 50,000 tickets for the tournament were sold during the pre-sale period which ended last week.

“Now with this draw of the confederations cup, with the confederations cup coming with the qualifiers getting into a decisive stage, we see and we feel that people start vibrating about the world cup which is coming,” Infantino said Saturday.

“And obviously we will be promoting the World Cup. We will be promoting football. We will be promoting Russia as well,” the FIFA President added.