South Africa will host the 2009 Confederations Cup
Hosts South Africa will be among the seeds for next year's Confederations Cup, world football's governing body Fifa has announced.
Bafana Bafana will also play in the opening match of the two-week tournament, a Group A fixture at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on 14 June.
The other seeded countries will be named soon, Fifa added.
World Cup holders Italy and continental champions Brazil, Egypt, Iraq, New Zealand, Spain and the United States complete the
line-up ahead of the 22 November draw for the tournament.
The challengers for a title held by Brazil will be split into two pools with nations from the same confederation separated,
meaning Egypt go in Group B and Italy and Spain are kept apart.
Being seeded is a boost for South Africa, who are below five of the other seven teams in the Fifa rankings and failed to qualify for
the 2010 African Nations Cup in Angola after winning just one of five qualifiers.
Bafana Bafana will also avoid Brazil, who defeated Argentina 4-1 in the previous final four years ago in Germany, as well as dodging Italy or Spain in the traditional dress rehearsal for the World Cup.
The Confederations Cup has assumed extra importance for 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa amid international media concerns over stadium building deadlines, regular power supply, supporters' security and infrastructure.
Fifa president Sepp Blatter has urged South African officials to use the Confederations Cup to dispel doubts about the ability of the first African hosts of the World Cup to stage a successful tournament.
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