Soccer: Germany to face Chile at Confederations Cup in Russia | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 26.11.2016
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Soccer: Germany to face Chile at Confederations Cup in Russia

World Cup holders Germany will play South American champions Chile in the group stage of next year's Confederations Cup. Saturday’s draw also pitted European champions Portugal against hosts Russia.

The warm-up event for the 2018 World Cup will also see the Germans taking on Australia and the African champions, to be determined in February, in Group B.

As well as Portugal  and Russia, Group A features Mexico and New Zealand. Russia will play New Zealand in the opening game in St. Petersburg.

The tournament runs from June 17 to July 2 in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi.

It's a key test for some of the trickier areas of Russia's preparations, including the costly and much delayed 69,000-seat St. Petersburg stadium.

The Confederations Cup's future after 2017 is uncertain, with FIFA president Gianni Infantino saying earlier on Saturday that the format could be changed and "we are putting everything on the table."

That's because the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be held in November and December, meaning the Confederations Cup would cause severe disruption to the club calendar if held in its traditional slot a year before the bigger tournament.

The Cup features many of the best teams in world football - with FIFA's six continental champions, plus the World Cup holder and the following year's World Cup host. But it has struggled to build a distinct identity beyond being simply a test event for a larger tournament.

Germany coach Joachim Loew plans to leave out some of the World Cup holder's established players to focus on youth at next year's tournament in Russia, but Infantino insisted that didn't devalue the competition.