TIA Guide to the Confederations Cup

The FIFA Confederations Cup kicks off on Sunday afternoon in South Africa, proving somewhat of a cure for football fans suffering during the long summer weekends without their team in action.

Liverpool have six players involved; their Spanish quintuplet of Torres, Reina, Alonso, Arbeloa and Riera; and Italian full-back Andrea Dossena.

What is the Confederations Cup?

The Confederations Cup is held every four years as a prelude to the World Cup, with the winners of the six FIFA Confederations Championships taking part, along with the current World Champions and the host of the World Cup, providing eight teams.

Spain qualify courtesy of their Euro 2008 victory last summer and Italy due to their World Cup win in 2006. The other participants are United States, Brazil, Iraq, Egypt, New Zealand and host country South Africa.

The 8 times are divided into two groups, the top 2 from each group go through to the semi-finals and the winners play the final on 28th June (just a week before Liverpool return to pre-season training).

All eyes on Spain

Germany v Spain - UEFA EURO 2008 Final

Naturally, all Liverpudlian eyes will be on Spain, who have been drawn alongside New Zealand, Iraq and South Africa so you would think look certain to progress to the semi-finals at least. Their first match is against New Zealand on Sunday night.

Spain’s Fixtures:

Sunday, 14th June: v New Zealand (1930 BST)
Wednesday 17th June: v Iraq (1500 BST)
Saturday 20th June: v South Africa (1930 BST)

TV Coverage

For UK visitors, all matches are being shown on BBC Three (available on Freeview) or via the BBC Red button and online on the BBC Sport website. Fifa.com are also screening all matches online via their Match Cast.

Link: Live games on BBC Sport TV Schedule
Link: Fifa.com Match Cast