Soccer-FIFA reaches late deal to show Confederations Cup in Russia

ZURICH, June 11 (Reuters) - FIFA has reached an agreement to broadcast the Confederations Cup in host nation Russia, it said on Sunday, six days before the tournament gets under way.

The global soccer body said it had granted media rights to the 2SPORT2 consortium, representing Channel One, RTR and Match TV, which it said would ensure “comprehensive TV, internet, mobile and radio coverage of the competition.”

The deal averted the embarrassing possibility of the eight-team tournament, which is seen as a dress rehearsal for next year’s World Cup in Russia, not being shown in the host nation.

FIFA said in a statement that all FIFA Confederations Cup matches would be shown live on free-to-air television by Channel 1 and Match TV. Live radio transmissions would be provided by RTR, it said.

“We are delighted to be working with such prestigious broadcast partners to transmit the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 on free-to-air television in the host country,” said FIFA’s chief commercial officer Philippe Le Floc’h.

“Together, we will share unforgettable football moments and the special atmosphere in the stadiums with millions of fans across Russia in the build-up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.”

The Confederations Cup features the champions of the six continental federations -- Chile, Portugal, Cameroon, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand -- plus hosts Russia and the current world champions Germany.

It starts on Saturday and finishes on July 2. Matches will be played in St Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan and Sochi.

The Confederations Cup in Brazil four years ago was overshadowed when tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest at poor public services, inflation, rising crime and other grievances in the South American nation.

Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Neil Robinson