CAIRO: Egypt became the fifth country to be selected as host of a new series of friendly games introduced by FIFA to allow teams from different confederations to play each other, the world soccer governing body said on Monday (Mar 18).

The pilot phase was expanded to feature 24 national teams, who will play across three continents, FIFA said in a statement.

The Egypt edition – which will take place from Mar 22 to Mar 26 – will also include Croatia, Tunisia and New Zealand.

Egypt will host New Zealand in the opening game on Friday, which will also mark the inauguration of a new 92,000-capacity stadium that the country has built in a new administrative capital, 45km east of Cairo.

Named Egypt Stadium, the venue is the second biggest in Africa, behind South Africa’s 94,000-seater Soccer City.

Tunisia will face Croatia in the other game, with the winners playing each other in the second match.

Although there are no trophies or prize money, the series is designed to benefit national teams that do not have the opportunity to play teams from other confederations, with FIFA set to cover travel costs.

Algeria, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka will simultaneously host other editions this month, although formats will differ.


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