Chelsea will head to the United Arab Emirates for the FIFA Club World Cup in early 2022 after original hosts Japan pulled out because of Covid-19 crisis
- FIFA Club World Cup is set to take place in early 2022 with Chelsea involved
- Tournament will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates, FIFA confirmed
- Japan was set to host but withdrew because on ongoing Covid-19 issues
- Al Ahly from Egypt and Auckland City from New Zealand have also qualified
- Remaining five clubs involved will become clear in the next six weeks
Chelsea will head to the United Arab Emirates early next year to compete in the FIFA Club World Cup.
The annual meeting of club champions from each confederation was originally due to be staged in Japan but they pulled out because of the ongoing coronavirus situation in the country.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino confirmed on Wednesday that the tournament will now be in the UAE and in the New Year as opposed to the usual December slot.
Chelsea are heading for the United Arab Emirates for the FIFA Club World Cup next year
The annual Club World Cup brings together the champions from each FIFA confederation
Infantino said: ‘It was decided that the Club World Cup 2021 will be played in early 2022, the exact dates are still to be confirmed, but the hosts after the withdrawal of Japan because of the pandemic, the host will be the United Arab Emirates, the UAE, who have hosted this event already a few times as you know.’
A shortlist of the UAE, Qatar or South Africa was drawn up to replace them but South Africa withdrew citing their own Covid issues.
And with Qatar set to stage the Arab Cup in the first half of December, the UAE has been named as the host.
Chelsea, who defeated Manchester City in the Champions League final in Porto back in May, will represent Europe in the Club World Cup.
Egyptian club Al Ahly will participate having won the 2020-21 CAF Champions League in Africa and Auckland City from New Zealand have also qualified.
The South American representative will be from Brazil with Flamengo and Palmeiras set to contest the Copa Libertadores final in Montevideo, Uruguay on November 27.
Club America and Monterrey, both from Mexico, will play in the CONCACAF Champions League final on October 28.
Bayern Munich are the reigning Club World Cup champions after beating UANL last year
Real Madrid won the last time the competition was staged in the UAE, in Abu Dhabi in 2018
The 2021 AFC Champions League final is between Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia and Pohang Steelers of South Korea in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on November 23.
An eighth team will be the winner of the host country’s national league. The holders of the UAE Pro League title are Al Jazira Club, based in Abu Dhabi.
This would be the fifth time the Club World Cup has been staged in the UAE after 2009, 2010, 2017 and 2018.
Bayern Munich are the defending champions, after defeating Mexicans UANL last December in Qatar.