Not content with hosting the soccer World Cup in 2006, Germany have been awarded the inter-continental Confederations Cup tournament for 2005.
France won the last Confederations Cup on home soil. Germany hopes to repeat the feat in 2005.
Germany will host the seventh FIFA Confederations Soccer Cup in 2005 as a warm-up to the World Cup Finals which will also be contested on German soil a year later. The eight-team competition will be held over two weeks beginning on June 15, 2005.
Although the decision to award the tournament to Germany was announced by world football's governing body FIFA in Zurich on Thursday, the official announcement is expected after FIFA's Executive Committee has ratified the decision.
The Confederation Cup, being looked on by the German Football Association (DFB) as a dress rehearsal for the World Cup in 2006, will be held at stadiums in Hanover, Leipzig, Cologne, Nuremberg, Frankfurt and Gelsenkirchen. However, the Cup itself is more prestigious than just a practice run for the main event.
No poor relation
World Cup winners Brazil and beaten finalists Germany will meet again.
The tournament, which is played every two years, involves the host country, the current World Champions, the winners of the European Championships, the Copa America, the Oceania Nations Cup, the African Nations Cup, the Gold Cup and Asian Cup. It is the play-off competition for the champions of champions, bringing together the ruling nations from the world's soccer federations in a continental showdown.
The Cup is also an opportunity for the regional champions to come together and challenge each other for the right to claim the inter-continental crown. The competition also provides a chance for the so-called lesser Confederations to test their progress against the nations of the more established and wealthier continents.
"The Confederations Cup is a wonderful competition because it is a symbol of solidarity between the confederations," said FIFA President Sepp Blatter on Thursday. "With the exception of the World Cup, it is the only official international competition in which teams from all the continents can test themselves against one another."
Germany will host the global champions
Tunisia won the final of the African Cup 2004.
The tournament in Germany 2005 will feature Rudi Völler's hosts, current World Cup holders Brazil, African champions Tunisia (photo), 2003 Gold Cup winners Mexico and the winners of the four upcoming continental championships.
If Brazil wins the Copa America to go with their World Cup, the beaten finalists would qualify, while the same principle would be applied to Euro 2004 if Germany is successful.
Europeans hope to retain the title
Germany's Carsten Jancker and Cameroon's Marc-Vivien Foe.
Last year, the tournament was won by reigning European Champions and hosts France but was marred by the tragic death of Cameroon player Marc-Vivien Foe (pictured clashing with Germany's Carsten Jancker) who collapsed on the pitch during a semi-final against Colombia played in the soaring temperatures of the extreme French summer.
The first Confederations Cups were held in Saudi Arabia in 1992, 1995 and 1997. Mexico hosted the tournament in 1999 and Japan and South Korea did so in 2001. Since the inaugural FIFA Confederations Cup, each tournament has seen a different confederation emerge triumphant, adding to the excitement and unpredictability of the showcase competition.
Germany as hosts, however, will be hoping that they will break the trend of passing the title between the Confederations and retain the cup for UEFA.