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Football | Afcon

Nigeria © Gallo Images

Demanding Confed schedule for Nigeria



Nigeria will play Spain, Uruguay and Tahiti at the 2013 Fifa Confederations Cup in Brazil after winning the Africa Cup of Nations title on Sunday.

It is a tall order for the Super Eagles as Spain are the World Cup and Euro championship title-holders and Uruguay came fourth at the last World Cup and are the reigning South American kings.

African teams have not performed well at a now-quadrennial tournament that is staged a year before a World Cup as a dress rehearsal, and brings together the champions of the six Fifa regions plus the host nation and the world champions.

Because Spain are the holders of the world and European titles, Euro 2012 runners-up Italy were included in the draw made last December with the African champions still unknown.

Nigeria kick off their campaign on June 17 against surprise Oceania champions Tahiti, tackle Uruguay three days later and on June 23 meet star-stacked Spain with the group winners and runners-up advancing to the semifinals.

Cameroon are the only Africans to reach the final, losing 1-0 to hosts France in 2003, but it proved a tragic tournament for the Indomitable Lions with Marc Vivien Foe suffering a fatal heart attack in an earlier match.

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CONFEDERATIONS CUP FIXTURES

Group A

June 15
At Brasilia: Brazil v Japan

June 16
At Rio de Janeiro: Mexico v Italy

June 19
At Fortaleza: Brazil v Mexico
At Recife: Italy v Japan

June 22
At Salvador: Italy v Brazil
At Belo Horizonte: Japan v Mexico

Group B

June 16
At Recife: Spain v Uruguay

June 17
At Belo Horizonte: Tahiti v Nigeria

June 20
At Rio de Janeiro: Spain v Tahiti
At Salvador: Nigeria v Uruguay

June 23
At Fortaleza: Nigeria v Spain
At Recife: Uruguay v Tahiti

Semifinals

June 26
At Belo Horizonte: Gp A winners v Gp B runners-up

June 27
At Fortaleza: Gp B winners v Gp A runners-up

Third place play-off

June 30
At Salvador: semifinals losers

Final

June 30
At Rio de Janeiro: semifinals winners

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