The hosts of the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009 will play six friendly matches prior to the eight-nation tournament in June, the national association said on Thursday. Bafana Bafana (The Boys) begin their countdown with a home fixture against Zambia near Pretoria on 27 January, followed by Chile in Polokwane on 11 February and then Norway in Rustenburg on 28 March.

The host-nation of the FIFA Confederations Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ face Portugal on 1 April in the Swiss city of Lucerne, unnamed opponents in South Africa on 30 May and finally Poland at home on 6 June. South Africa meet Iraq in the opening FIFA Confederations Cup fixture at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on 14 June and the group is completed by Spain and New Zealand.

Title holders Brazil, Egypt, Italy and the United States are in the other group of the competition, which is staged one year ahead of the FIFA World Cup in the host country. Johannesburg, Pretoria, Rustenburg and Bloemfontein are the host cities for the FIFA Confederations Cup, which commenced in 1997 and has been won by Brazil (twice), France (twice) and Mexico.