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The temperature and altitude will be a factor in the Confederations Cup, according to former Manchester United goalkeeper Gary Bailey.

The former Manchester United keeper is the brand ambassador for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup sponsor, Castrol, and he believes that climactic factors will be key at the tournament.

“Virtually every Confederations Cup has been played in the Northern Hemisphere summers, which naturally favours the Brazilians, Italians and [Spanish]," he said. "The cooler temperatures in SA will certainly favour the New Zealand team, which has a similar climate back home.”

In addition, says Bailey teams will have to bear in mind that Johannesburg is about 5,400 feet above sea level.

“While this may not have a major affect on some teams, other teams will be more used to competing at lower altitudes and need time to acclimatise,” he says to SuperSport.

While it takes athletes about seven to 10 days to be about 75 per cent accustomed to the thinner air, full acclimatisation takes about 15 to 20 days. At a higher altitudes the ball flies faster, which will also present challenges for goalkeepers who are used to playing at lower altitudes.

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