A Detailed Guide about the Confederations Cup
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The Fifa Confederations Cup was one of the most prestigious tournaments that took place every four years. The winners of the top six continental championships, such as CONCACAF, AFC, UEFA, CONMEBOL, OFC, and CAF, came together, along with the host nation, and the Fifa World Cup winner to fight for the Confederations trophy.
History of the Confederations Cup
The Confederations Cup started in 1992 in Saudi Arabia. It was called the King Fahd Cup during that time. Back then, it was an unofficial tournament as the countries only played for the honour of the Saudi ruler, King Fahd. However, FIFA took over the tournament in 1997. The competition was renamed to Fifa Confederations Cup.
Format of the tournament
As already mentioned, the tournament takes place every four years. However, between 1997 and 2005, the gap was only for two years. After 2005, the competition took place every four years, as the World Cup.
Eight teams qualified to play in this tournament. The organisers divided the teams into two round-robin groups. But there was a restriction in the group selection process. Two teams belonging to the same confederation could not be in the same group. For example, if Portugal and Germany qualified for the Confederations Cup, they would not be in the same group because they are from the same confederation.
Each team would play the other three teams once in the group stage. The top two teams from each group would qualify for the semi-finals. There were a few rules that helped to determine the rankings of the teams:
- Total points in the group stage
- Goal difference after all the group stage matches
- Total number of goals scored in the group stage matches
Abolition of the Confederations Cup
2017 was the last time the Confederations Cup took place. Russia was the hosting nation. Germany won the competition, beating Chile by one goal to nil in the final. The Confederations Cup was held a year before the Fifa World Cup. The country that hosted the Confederations Cup would go on to host the World Cup in the next year. Fifa considered the Confederations Cup as the final preparation for the World Cup.
Russia hosted the 2018 Fifa World Cup. That is why the Confederations Cup took place in Russia in 2017. The next edition of the Confederations Cup was supposed to happen in Qatar because it is the hosting nation of the 2022 World Cup. However, the high temperatures in Qatar became a significant concern for all the teams. That is also the reason why the World Cup was rescheduled to November and December, instead of the traditional June and July period.
There were talks of shifting the Confederations Cup to another country altogether. However, in March 2021, Fifa announced that they would abolish the Confederations Cup. Instead, it would conduct the 2021 Fifa Club World Cup. Fans are not sure whether Fifa would restart the Confederations Cup or not. But the Fifa Club World Cup promises to be a tournament of equal stature if not better.