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FIFA: 2013 Confederations Cup schedule, host cities announced


Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (R) shakes hands with FIFA President Joseph "Sepp" Blatter at Planalto Palace, in Brasilia, on March 16, 2012. "We will work with Brazil to do the best Cup in 2014," Blatter said.



SÃO PAULO, Brazil — FIFA announced today the six cities in Brazil that will play host to the 2013 Confederations Cup, the curtain-raiser to the 2014 World Cup.

The cities doing hosting duties are Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Fortaleza, Belo Horizonte, Salvador and Recife, according to FIFA's official announcement.

FIFA initially doubted Salvador and Recife would have their new stadiums ready for the June 2013 soccer tournament, but said today that the northeastern cities should be ready, reported Reuters. The international soccer organization gave all six cities until mid-November to prove they are on track with stadium construction.

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"We are quite confident that this Confederations Cup will be played in the six cities," FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said at an announcement ceremony in Rio, according to Reuters.

Rio de Janeiro will host the final match at Maracana stadium, while Brasilia will only stage the opening match, reported the Associated Press. The other cities will three games each in the 16-match schedule. The draw for the June 15 to 30 tournament will take place later this year.

"The announcement of this match schedule represents the successful common effort by all of those involved,'' Brazil Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said to the AP. "This effort will be confirmed in November through a lot of work and dedication.''

The latest edition of the Confederations Cup will feature reigning champion Brazil, Spain, Japan, Mexico and Uruguay, according to Yahoo! Sports. Three spaces have also yet to be filled, but will be taken by the champions of Europe, Oceania and Africa.