22 - 28 July 1999
Issue No. 439
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875|
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The FIFA Confederations Cup trophy is surmounted by a globe symbolising the world with its six continents. The name of the competition is engraved in two spiralling bands. The trophy is mounted on a hexagonal wooden base with gilded plaques to bear the names of the winners. Two rings of lapis lazuli on the base are inlaid with the confederations' emblems. It is 40cm high and weighs 10kg. It is made of gilded silver, lapis lazuli and wood. It was created in 1997 by Fritz Jucker, Goldschmiedeatelier, Zurich, Switzerland.
It was constructed in 1966 and can hold up to 115,000 fans. It was the venue for 19 matches during both the 1970 and the 1986 World Cups.
Former title holders
Four countries -- Saudi Arabia, USA, Argentina and Côte d'Ivoire -- participated in the First Intercontinental Championship for the King Fahd Cup from 15 to 20 October 1992. Argentina beat Saudi Arabia 3-1 in the final in Riyadh, becoming the first nation to win the cup.
The Second Intercontinental Championship was disputed by six countries -- Denmark, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Argentina and Nigeria -- from 6 to 13 January 1995. Denmark snatched the victory from title-holder Argentina in the final in Riyadh. beating them 2-0.
The third King Fahd Cup was officially a FIFA event, and its name changed to the FIFA Confederations Cup. Eight national teams -- Brazil, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Uruguay, United Arab Emirates, South Africa and Czech Republic -- took part in the competition from 12 to 21 December 1997. Brazil won the title after smashing Australia 6-0 in the final in Riyadh.
In the professional era, soccer is losing much of its sportsmanship and glamour. That's why competitions such as the Confederations Cup also boast a Fair Play Trophy. South Africa were worthy winners in 1997, their game being a model of fairness. Such achievements can only be for the good of the game and help to make it even more popular.
The prize monies for this year's Confederations Cup total $14 million. Every team which has qualified for the competition will take home $750,000 thousand. The champion will take $1.7 million, the runner-up $1.5 million, third place $1.3 million and fourth $1.2 million. The Egyptian team is officially aiming to reach the semifinals, which will make them one of the four big money winners. Are they in it for the prize money, or the prestige?!
The Egyptian Embassy in Mexico has hired 10 bodyguards to accompany the players, plus a police car from the Mexican government, because of the country's record of violent crime. In one recent episode, the Mexican goalkeeper's father, Jorge Campos, was kidnapped and held to ransom.
(Compiled from news agencies)