The stage is set for the Confederations Cup which is likely to be a lop-sided event with ranking disparity between the eight contestants being glaringly huge.
The FIFA Confederations Cup soccer, to be contested by the winners of each of the six (UEFA, CONMEBOL, CONCACAF, CAF, AFC, OFC) regional championships, along with the FIFA World Cup holder and the hosts, is set for kick-off on June 17, 2017 with the final billed for July 2, 2017 in Russia.
The winner gets $5,000,000, the runner-up $4,500,000, third place team $3,500,000, fourth place $3,000,000 and in the group stage from the fifth to eighth place $2,000,000 each.
As always, it is bound to be a lop-sided event with ranking disparity between the eight contestants being glaringly huge.
World Cup winners Germany at No 3 are the highest ranked nation followed by South American champs Chile at No 4 and European champions Portugal at No 8. Mexico, Central American winners are the closest at No 18.
The rest, hosts Australia (Asian champs at 48,) Russia (hosts at 55), African winners Cameroon (at 65) and Oceania champs New Zealand at 110, will only gain by the experience and cannot be expected to do much.
Don’t Miss To Read: Football: Retrospective Bans For Diving In Offing Next Season
Chile, Portugal and Russia will be making their debut in the event.
The tournament is a virtual dress rehearsal for the Russians for the World Cup which they will host in 2018.
Surprisingly, the format makes way for the defending World Cup winners but not for the holders of the Confederations Cup itself. Brazil won the 2013 edition but lost out in the Copa America stakes as Chile triumphed and will not be seen in action. Brazil, in fact have won it four times, the most by any nation.
The host Russia have an automatic berth in the Confederations Cup
Ironically, World Cup winners have no automatic entry in the World Cup and must qualify but the hosts have an automatic berth as in the Confederations Cup.
Originally played as the King Fahd Cup from 1992 to 1995 between Saudi Arabia and a continental cup winner, it has assumed this format from 1997 after FIFA decided to give it a more broader complexion. Yet, it’s time FIFA did a rejig of the qualifying format. The rules also permit continental winners to opt out if they want to and they could be replaced by the second or third placed team from the continent, more so from Europe or South America.
Don’t Miss To Read: Fans Are Heart And Soul of Football Clubs
The fact that their players play more events than their counterparts in other continents weighed in favour of such a decision. Nonetheless, Africa, Asia or Oceania could only profit by the decision.
For the knockout stage if the scoreboard is blank at the end of regulation time, extra time is played
As such, the eight entrants or qualifiers, are drawn into two round-robin groups ensuring that two teams from the same confederation are not drawn alongside unless there are three teams from the same continent in the fray.
Consequently, as it happened this time itself, Russia and Portugal are in group A while Germany are in group B. Each team plays all others in their group once. The top two advance to the semi-finals, with the winners of each group playing the runners-up of the other group. The winners of the semi-finals advance to the final, while the losers play in the third-place game.
For the knockout stage if the scoreboard is blank at the end of regulation time, extra time is played (two periods of 15 minutes each) and followed, if necessary, by a penalty shoot-out to determine the winner.
France beat Cameroon 1-0 via the golden goal rule in 2003 after it was 0-0 at the end of 90 minutes. All others have ended in normal time with a shoot-out yet to be necessitated.
Read More Sports News:
- Legalised Sports Betting The Way Forward
- Kumble Episode: First The Blunder, Now The Cover-up
- Mahendra Singh Dhoni, The `Final’ Man
- AIFF Plays A Cruel Joke, Back To Old Tricks To Fool People
- Basketball: Oceania Nations May Make for Lopsided Competition Either Way
- It’s Real Madrid Vs Juventus
- Pele Is The Greatest; Maradona, Messi, Cristiano Stand in No Comparison
- Aizwal Keep Date With Destiny Despite Sabotage Attempts
- Why Dhoni Decided to Give up Captaincy?
- ISL, AIFF Violate Many FIFA Statues, But Who Cares?
- Centre’s Cattle Order Gets `Slaughtered’ By Madras High Court
- Jayalalithaa No Longer a Holy Cow in Tamil Nadu
- Did Arnab Goswami Steal Footage? Times Now Red-faced
- Modi Must Make Public All Constructive Criticisms and Action Taken
- PhD Scholar Serves Parathas By Roadside At Night
- Kumble Episode: As Usual, It’s BCCI, The Board of Chaos and Confusion in India
- Burhan Wani Successor Sabzar Bhat Killed in Kashmir Encounter
- Indian Scientists Develop Drones With Human Brain As Command Centre
- KPS Gill: Lion of Punjab and Indian Hockey
- Melania’s Hands Do All the Talking During Trump Visit