By G9ija

It will be the second time Qatar has played host to the world’s continental club champions after successfully staging the 2019 version of the tournament, which was won by Liverpool FC.

The upcoming FIFA Club World Cup was due to take place in December 2020 – but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of COVID-19 cases remains low in Qatar and it is hoped local fans will be able to attend February’s tournament. Ticketing details will be announced in due course.

Two teams have qualified for the tournament to-date: host nation representatives Al Duhail, the reigning Qatar Stars League champions, and UEFA Champions League winners Bayern Munich. The five remaining participants will be confirmed over the next three months when qualification tournaments are concluded.

Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmed Al Thani, President, Qatar Football Association, said: “We are incredibly excited to be hosting the FIFA Club World Cup for the second time. It is our mission to build on the successful 2019 tournament, which attracted thousands of fans from all over the world.”

H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, said: “Hosting the FIFA Club World Cup for a second time represents another vital learning opportunity for our country as we edge ever nearer to hosting the FIFA World Cup. We will be working closely with our stakeholders to provide an exceptional experience for fans, players and officials, while fine-tuning our plans for 2022.”

Qatar is currently hosting 44 matches in the AFC Champions League East Zone amid strict health and safety regulations due to COVID-19. The country also hosted 39 West Zone matches in September and October, with regular testing and bubble-to-bubble protocols helping to minimise the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, a limited number of fans are being allowed to attend domestic matches in the country but must follow social distancing rules.