FIFA plans to postpone the Club World Cup until early next year due to a host of challenges related to the pandemic, people familiar with the plan said.
coronavirus Japan withdrew from organizing a seven-team tournament this December due to sanctions, and South Africa dropped a bid due to the country’s need for more vaccinations.
People told The Associated Press that FIFA is now staging the event in January or February. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the ongoing talks.
Qatar is an option – such as in February when Bayern Munich won the delayed 2020 edition in Doha – to help the Gulf nations test sites for the men’s national teams’ World Cup starting in November 2022.
FIFA is already slated to stage the Arab Cup event in December in Qatar as part of preparations for the World Cup. The Club World Cup could attract a more global fanbase, with Chelsea qualifying as Champions League winners. This would disrupt the Premier League weekend for the West London club, as would have been the case if the tournament had been contested as planned in December.
An expanded 24-team Club World Cup was due to start in China this year but was postponed as the pandemic necessitated the rescheduling of national team competitions in June and FIFA was unable to raise the funds needed for the planned quadrennial event. The seven-team format was therefore extended for another year, with six continental club champions joining the domestic league winner from the host country.