Qatar to host FIFA Club World Cup 2020 across three venues


Zurich: Qatar will host the FIFA Club World Cup 2020 from February 1 to 11, 2021, after it was postponed earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Six continental confederations, as well as the host nation’s league champions, will compete in the tournament, which will be held across three FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 stadiums — Ahmad Bin Ali, Khalifa International and Education City.

The Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, inaugurated just last week on December 18, will stage the opening match between Qatari champions Al Duhail and Auckland City of New Zealand on February 1, and the final will be played at Education City Stadium on February 11.

Joining the two teams will be European champions and German side FC Bayern Munich, CONCACAF champions Tigres UANL from Mexico, Al Ahly SC, Egyptian side and winners of the CAF Champions League along with Ulsan Hyundai, who recently laid claim to the AFC Champions League at a match played in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 venue Al Janoub Stadium.

The winner of the CONMEBOL Libertadores will determine the South American representative, rounding off this edition’s participants. The South American title winner will be determined by the end of January 2021. The draw to finalise the detailed pairings in the tournament will take place in Zurich on January 19.

“Hosting the second edition of the FIFA Club World Cup in a row will allow us to build on our operational experience and apply learnings both from 2019, as well as the tournaments attended by fans in Qatar throughout 2020. It will help ensure we deliver an amazing experience for every fan when the Middle East and Arab world hosts its first FIFA World Cup in just under two years’ time,” said Nasser Al Khater, Chief Executive Officer, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC.

“Over the past few months, during the global pandemic, we have worked diligently to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of players and fans as we hosted several important local and international footballing events, and we look forward to welcoming the world’s best clubs in the New Year for what will be yet another important milestone on the road to Qatar 2022,” Al Khater added.

Inaugurated exactly two years before Qatar hosts the FIFA World Cup final, Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium has a capacity of 40,000 seats and is a demonstration of Qatar’s commitment to sustainability, having been largely constructed from recycled and reused material from an older stadium that once stood on the same site.

Education City Stadium, nicknamed the ‘Diamond in the Desert’, has its design inspired by the rich history of Islamic architecture, blended with striking modernity. The facade features triangles that form complex, diamondlike geometrical patterns which appear to change colour depending on the sun’s position.

The third stadium to be used during the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 will be Khalifa International Stadium. Widely regarded as Qatar’s national stadium, the recently refurbished venue hosted the previous tournament’s final where English side Liverpool FC won the title for the first time in front of an audience of more than 45,000 fans. (ANI)