Football

FIFA reschedules Club World Cup to early next year

The 2021 Club World Cup will be held in the United Arab Emirates, according to world football governing body, FIFA.

The 2021 Club World Cup will be held in the United Arab Emirates, according to the world football governing body, FIFA.

The continental club champions were scheduled to compete in the tournament which was originally scheduled to be held in Japan in December, but the Asian nation backed out in September due to COVID-19 concerns.

South Africa put their hat in the ring to host the tournament, but reports emerged last month that the UAE had expressed formal interest in hosting the event. They have won the race to host it in their own country.

Gianni Infantino, FIFA president, confirmed the event would be held in the UAE at the FIFA council meeting, but added that the schedule had been pushed back to early 2022.

Infantino said: “The council endorsed a meeting, a global summit meeting to take place in December this year with the aim of providing a presentation to all 211 member nations about the future of football, men’s football, women’s football, youth football, on 20th December.

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“It was decided that the Club World Cup 2021 will be played in early 2022, the exact dates are still to be confirmed, but the hosts after the withdrawal of Japan because of the pandemic, the host will be the United Arab Emirates, the UAE, who have hosted this event already a few times as you know.

“Also we decided that the FIFA Congress next year shall be on the 31st March in Doha on the eve of the draw for the World Cup finals.”

Chelsea will compete in the Club World Cup alongside five other continental club champions, as well as the league champion of the host nation.

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The UAE has hosted the Club World Cup four times, with Abu Dhabi, the capital, serving as host in 2009, 2010, 2017, and 2018.

FIFA had hoped to host the 2021 Club World Cup in China with a completely new format that would have included 24 club teams from around the world.

However, because of the pandemic, it agreed to postpone the event indefinitely in order to reschedule Euro 2020 and the 2020 Copa America.

The news came as a relief to clubs all over Europe, as the European Clubs Association had previously argued that any new competition should be part of an agreed-upon framework for the international match calendar after 2024.

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