(WFI) Hosts and reigning champions Brazil are drawn into the tougher of two groups for FIFA’s 2013 Confederations Cup.
In the span of just seven minutes Saturday morning, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke sorted the hosts, five continental champions, Euro 2012 runners-up and Africa’s as yet undetermined representative into two groups of four with the help of Brazilian model Adriana Lima and chef Alex Atala.
More than 600 journalists and 800 guests attended the ceremony in Sao Paulo, including speakers FIFA president Sepp Blatter, Local Organizing Committee chairman Jose Maria Marin and Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff as well as coaches Cesare Prandelli of Italy, Alberto Zacceroni of Japan, Jose Manuel de la Torre of Mexico, Vicente del Bosque of Spain, Eddy Etaeta of Tahiti, Oscar Tabarez of Uruguay and newly installed Luiz Felipe Scolari of Brazil.
Also spotted in the crowd were Brazilian football legends such as Ronaldo, Bebeto, Marta and Cafu, who unveiled the official adidas match ball “Cafuza” for the 2013 Confederations Cup.
By the Numbers
Brazil, ranked 13th in the world by FIFA, begins Group A play June 15 in Brasilia against AFC winners Japan (ranked 24th) before facing CONCACAF champs Mexico (14th) in Fortaleza and then Euro 2012 runners-up Italy (5th) in Salvador.
Reigning world and European champions Spain (#1) kick off Group B on June 16 in Recife against CONMEBOL winners Uruguay (11th) before meeting OFC champs Tahiti (139th) in Rio de Janeiro’s renovated Maracana. A matchup against the winner of the Feb. 10 final of the African Cup of Nations will follow in Fortaleza.
Belo Horizonte will also host a pair of group matches during the World Cup dress rehearsal as well as one semifinal. Fortaleza gets the other.
Rio will stage the June 30 final and Salvador the third-place match.
All six cities are scheduled to host matches for the 2014 World Cup as well.
With the draw set, FIFA now turns to public ticket sales, which launch Monday via FIFA.com.
For the group stage, tickets for international supporters range from $60 to $140, while tickets for Brazilians start at $28 and run through $131.
Per Brazilian law, at least 1 percent of all tickets will be made available for disabled customers, who also get the option of a complimentary ticket for a companion.
For more information on the ticketing scheme, click here.
By INSIDER’s Matthew Grayson
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