Abu Dhabi to host 2021 FIFA Club World Cup with Chelsea, Al Jazeera and five others
Abu Dhabi has been confirmed to host the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced the news at the World Governing Body’s board meeting on Wednesday. The 2021 tournament was originally scheduled to take place in Japan in December, but the Japan Football Association withdrew last month due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
No new date for the Abu Dhabi competition has been confirmed, although The National understands that a time slot in February is under consideration.
The United Arab Emirates have hosted the Club World Cup four times already, with Abu Dhabi in 2009, 2010, 2017 and 2018. The 2021 tournament will feature Chelsea and five other continental club champions, as well as Al Jazeera, the current champions of the United Arab Emirates.
On Wednesday, Infantino said: “The board approved a meeting, a world summit to be held in December of this year with the aim of providing a presentation to 211 member countries on the future of soccer, men’s football, women’s football , youth football, December 20.
“It has been decided that the 2021 Club World Cup will be played in early 2022 – the exact dates are yet to be confirmed – but after Japan withdraws due to the pandemic, the host will be the United Arab Emirates, the United Arab Emirates , who have already hosted this event a few times as you know.
Chelsea qualify for the Club World Cup as reigning European champions, alongside African counterparts Al Ahly from Egypt and Oceanic champions Auckland City from New Zealand. Jazeera, who won the Arabian Gulf League last season – the domestic competition has since been renamed the Adnoc Pro League – will take part in the event for the second time.
The Abu Dhabi club, which won the UAE league last season for the third time in their history, reached the Club World Cup semi-final in their only other appearance, in 2017, where he was beaten 2-1 by future winner Real Madrid.
Madrid won the title again the following year to become the all-time record holder, with four. Barcelona and Inter Milan represent the other previous winners in the United Arab Emirates, in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
Aref Hamad Al Awani, Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: “We are absolutely delighted to host the FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi for the fifth time. It goes without saying that the competition brings together both the favorite clubs of fans and players from all over the world.
“It’s great and a huge honor for us. We would like to thank FIFA for the trust and confidence it places in us, on the basis of the past successes of hosting this immensely popular competition.
“We remain committed in our commitment to host world-class sporting events in Abu Dhabi and to make the United Arab Emirates a hub for sporting events.”
Al Awani added, “It is of the utmost importance for us to provide a safe environment for the event, especially after successfully hosting world-class sporting events which have received high praise for the organization and for the best Covid protocols.
“We welcome fans to the Club World Cup with our traditional Arab hospitality, state-of-the-art infrastructure and stadiums, with world-class travel and leisure facilities. “
The 2017 and 2018 competitions were held at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi and Hazza at Zayed Stadium in Al Ain. Al Ahli, Al Wahda and Al Ain have all represented the UAE at the Club World Cup.
Update: October 21, 2021, 12:03 p.m.