FIFA clings on to Club World Cup but pushes back to February 2021 in Qatar

November 18 – FIFA has moved its delayed Club World Cup (CWC) from December to February because of the effects Covid-19 with Qatar remaining as hosts whilst the women’s U20 and U17 World Cups in Costa Rica and India respectively will now be held in 2022 having already been rescheduled once.

The CWC, which brings together the club champions from the six regional confederations, was due to take place in December as part of the preparations for Qatar hosting the first ever winter World Cup 11 months later.

However, it has now been pushed back two months, partly because the Concacaf Champions League final will not be played until December 22 in Orlando, Florida, and the Asian Champions League final is scheduled for December 19.

FIFA did not state if supporters would be able to attend any of the games noting only that “in line with FIFA’s International Match Protocol, FIFA and the host country will provide the required safeguards for the health and safety of all involved.”

Only two of the seven tournament places – European champion Bayern Munich and Qatari champion Al-Duhail – have currently been decided. The line-up should be completed after the Copa Libertadores final in late January.

“The introduction of strict return-to-play protocols has facilitated a successful resumption of continental club championships the last of which is now scheduled to conclude by the end of January 2021,” which will determine the line-up of the February tournament, a FIFA statement added.

A new expanded 24-team Club World Cup was due to be held in June/July next year in China but coronavirus-related delays to Euro 2020 and the Copa America, which will be held a year late, have led to the postponement of that plan.

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