Confederations Cup 2017: Russia and New Zealand set the ball rolling today

The Confederations Cup, an eight-team competition in preparation for next year's World Cup, gets underway in Russia today Saturday Ju...

The Confederations Cup, an eight-team competition in preparation for next year's World Cup, gets underway in Russia today Saturday June 17, 2017.

In the opening fixture in group A, host nation Russia play New Zealand in St Petersburg, while Euro 2016 winners Portugal will take on CONCACAF Gold Cup winners Mexico in the second encounter of group A.
On Sunday, Africa Cup of Nations winners Cameroon clash with Copa America title-holders Chile in the opening group B match, before World champions Germany face 2015 Asian Cup champions Australia.
After the group stages, the top two teams in each pool advance to the semi-finals in Kazan on 28 June and Sochi on 29 June.

There is then a third-place play-off in Moscow ahead of the 2 July final in St Petersburg.

African champions Cameroon will be driven by the memory of Marc Vivien-Foe when they contest the Confederations Cup for the first time since the midfielder's death.
Foe died after collapsing on the pitch during the 2003 semi-final against Colombia in France.
The 28-year-old was later found to have suffered from a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
The Indomitable Lions will end their 14-year absence from the Confederations Cup when Fifa's World Cup dress rehearsal kicks off this weekend.

Cameroon open their Group B campaign against Copa America winners Chile on Sunday 18 June, in Moscow, before meeting Asian champions Australia four days later and then the world champions themselves, Germany, on 25 June.

Despite the passage of time, the memory of Foe will be uppermost in their minds as the African champions take to the field in Russia.

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BETA TINZ: Confederations Cup 2017: Russia and New Zealand set the ball rolling today
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