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France to host FIFA Confederations Cup 2003

Four years on from the 1998 FIFA World Cup™ when “les Bleus” vanquished Brazil on home soil, the FIFA Executive Committee, meeting in Zurich, has today bestowed the honour of hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup 2003 upon the French Football Federation (FFF).

French fans hold up a giant shirt.
Photo Desmond Boylan, Reuters
From 18 to 29 June 2003, eight teams will do battle in France for the sixth FIFA Confederations Cup. The champions of the six confederations – France (UEFA & defending champions), Colombia (CONMEBOL), Cameroon (CAF), USA (CONCACAF), Japan (AFC) and New Zealand (OFC) – will compete alongside world champions Brazil and one other invited team.

Previous Editions
- Korea/Japan 2001
- Mexico 1999
- Saudi Arabia 1997
The FFF will once again use stadiums that will be familiar to fans across the globe from the 1998 FIFA World Cup™ in France. The stadiums - Stade de France (Saint-Denis), Parc des Princes (Paris), Stade Gerland (Lyons) and Geoffroy-Guichard (Saint-Etienne) - are all modern constructions that offer optimum conditions for players, spectators and media representatives alike.

The matches will be played in two different areas of France – the Parisian area (Saint-Denis and Parc des Princes) and the Rhone-Alps region (Lyon and Saint-Etienne). The four host cities are served by excellent rail and air links.

Offering an all-seated capacity of some 80,000, the Stade de France is one of the most impressive football stadiums in the world. Located just four kilometres from Paris and opened in 1998, the stadium has hosted nine FIFA World Cup™ matches, the final of the UEFA Champions League in 2000 and the finals of the French domestic cup tournaments, as well as numerous Six Nations rugby matches and other cultural and sporting events. Just two months after the end of the FIFA Confederations Cup France 2003, the Stade de France, which will be the setting for between three and six matches (including the final), will also be the proud host of the World Athletics Championship.

A stadium on this traditional site dates back a long way, as its history of renovation and reconstruction testifies. The 1920s saw a renovation of the existing stadium and 1972 brought complete reconstruction, and the name has a special place in the hearts of French sports lovers.
Photo CFO France 98
Home of French club Paris Saint-Germain, the Parc des Princes stadium, built in 1972 and with a seated capacity of 49,000, has previously hosted six FIFA World Cup™ matches. Four FIFA Confederations Cup matches are to be played in Paris, further boosting the stadium’s record of hosting international matches.

The Gerland Stadium was designed by the architect Tony Garnier and built in 1920. It is listed as one of France's historic monuments.
Photo CFO France 98
The Stade Gerland in Lyons is the home of current French champions Olympique Lyonnais and has also hosted a total of six FIFA World Cup™ matches. A designated historical building, the stadium holds 41,000 seats and will host five FIFA Confederations Cup games, including the opening match on 18 June.

An arena built in true “English” style, the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium is the home of Saint-Etienne and is also known as the “Green Cauldron”, a reflection of the home team’s colours and their passionate supporters, known to be some of the most vocal and loyal in France. Completely renovated for the 1998 FIFA World Cup™, the stadium now has a capacity of 35,600.

A series of European Cup successes in the mid-70s and early 80s earned the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium the nick-name the "green cauldron", a venue that came to be respected on the international scene.
Photo Onze Mondiale
In an attempt to capture the imagination of the French public and to ensure that the stadiums are filled to capacity, the FFF has submitted a proposal to FIFA whereby tickets are to be sold in an imaginative, modern way. Fans will be able to buy tickets for an individual game or for a defined set of matches, allowing them to purchase at a reduced rate for matches in a particular city or in two neighbouring cities (Paris/Saint-Denis or Lyons/Saint-Etienne). Sales will commence in January 2003 and will end during the competition itself in June. As for any major sporting event, each ticket will have various pieces of personal information to prevent ticket forgeries.

Media representatives can also look forward to working in a modern environment adapted to their specific needs. While each stadium will have its own media centre, there will also be a single, centralised media centre in Paris to bring all of the written press representatives and photographers together under one roof.

Although the tournament gets underway in a little less than nine months, the FFF will still form a Local Organising Committee (LOC), which will work under the supervision of the Organising Committee for the FIFA Confederations Cup.

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