FIFA gift Liverpool a busy Xmas with clashing December dates for Club World Cup in Qatar

July 26 – The penultimate edition of the Club World Cup in its current guise will kick off in Qatar on December 11 with the final taking place 10 days later.

FIFA is revamping the tournament from 2021 with 24 teams instead of the current seven, with Qatar hosting the final two editions in the old style competition as test events for the 2022 World Cup.

Three teams for this year have been confirmed with European champions Liverpool joining CONCACAF champions CF Monterrey and Oceania’s Hienghene Sport of New Caledonia. The club representing hosts Qatar will depend on the ongoing AFC Champions League.

“If a team from Qatar are champions, they qualify directly for the second round … with the runners-up playing the opening match against Hienghene Sport on December 11,” FIFA said in a statement.

“If the AFC Champions League winners are not a club from Qatar, the current holders of the Qatar Stars League title, Al Sadd SC, play the opening match against Hienghene Sport.”

Participating teams from Africa, Asia and South America will be determined in the coming months.

The draw means Liverpool will almost certainly have to have their Premier League fixtures over Christmas rearranged due to an overlap which includes two games in one day across two different continents. They may anyway end up having to play five games in 10 days since the first ever winter break in English football will not kick in until after the Club World Cup.

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