The tournament was originally organised by and held in Saudi Arabia and called the ‘King Fahd Cup’, contested by the Saudi national side and some continental champions. In 1997, FIFA took over the organisation of the tournament, named it the FIFA Confederations Cup and staged the competition every two years.
Since 2005, it has been held every four years, in the year prior to each World Cup in the host country of the forth coming World Cup. Considered a dress rehearsal for the World Cup it precedes, it uses around half of the stadia intended for use at the following year’s competition.
Generally, the host nation, the World Cup holders, and the six continental champions qualify for the competition. In those cases where a team meets more than one of the qualification criteria (such as Spain this year, being both the World Cup & European Cup holders); another team is invited to participate, often the runner-up in a competition that the extra-qualified team won.
It follows a similar pattern of the Champions League within domestic football in that each participant has qualified through success in another competition.
- Brazil – Hosts
- Spain – World Cup Holders
- Italy – European Championship Runners Up
- Nigeria – Africa Cup of Nations Winners
- Mexico – Gold Cup Winners
- Uruguay – Copa America Winners
- Tahiti – OFC nations Cup Winners
- Japan – Asia Cup Winners.