Stood-up? Infantino’s love affair with Club World Cup struggles to find appropriate suitors

October 11 – FIFA is reported to be running out of time to find a host for the much-maligned Club World Cup in December and may be forced to postpone until early next year – an unfortunate public relations blow to Gianni Infantino.

With one country after another cooling their interest in staging the event following the withdrawal of original hosts Japan, FIFA is scrambling to find new organisers and now may have to delay for several weeks due to COVID 19, according to Associated Press.

The agency says FIFA is now exploring staging the event in January or February, with Qatar one potential option to help the Gulf nation prepare for the World Cup. FIFA is already due to stage the Arab Cup competition in December in Qatar.

This would most likely be the last edition of the Club World Cup in its current seven-team guise before the event becomes an extended 24-team competition, Infantino’s pet project which has itself been fraught with scheduling problems.

The withdrawal of South Africa as potential replacement hosts did not help Infantino and his multiple attempts to position the African continent and CAF’s new South African president as global player and a credible equal partner in world football.

Now he has to find a way of rescuing the Club World Cup, already an anachronism in its current format, from becoming even less significant than it is now.

Until, that is, it can be tripled in size – whenever that might be.

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