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The New Arab Staff

Qatar to host FIFA Club World Cup in February

Liverpool were winners when Doha hosted the tournament last year [Anadolu Agency]

Date of publication: 18 November, 2020

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The FIFA Club World Cup will be held from 1 to 11 February in Doha, the second time Qatar has hosted the event.

Qatar will host the FIFA Club World Cup in February, the sport's top governing body announced Tuesday, after the tournament was postponed from its original date in December.

The event, which brings together champions from across six continents, had been subject to the "disruptive effect of the pandemic on confederations' continental club championships", FIFA organisers said in online statement.

Strict "return-to-play" protocols enabled the continental championships to resume, the statement added, the last of which would be scheduled to finish by the end of January.

The Club World Cup will now be held from 1 to 11 February in Doha.

It is the second time Qatar has hosted the tournament, with Liverpool beating Brazil's Flamengo to lift the trophy in 2019.

It remains unclear whether there will be any physical spectators present in the stadiums, with organisers remarking that the body and the host country would "provide the required safeguards for the health and safety of all involved".

Plans to hold a newly expanded 24-team Club World Cup in June/July 2021 in China were place on hold after coronavirus-related delays pushed two continental championships - Euro 2020 and the Copa America – to next year's sporting calendar.

So far, only European Champions League winner Bayern Munich have qualified, along with Qatari side Al-Duhail, who automatically qualify as hosts.

The CONCACAF, South American, Asian and African representatives will be decided in the coming weeks and months.

The Asian Champions League is being completed in "bubble" conditions in Qatar, with stringent Covid-19 testing protocols.

The Gulf state has hosted 39 West Zone matches in the league and will host 44 East Zone matches in November and December, aside from the final.

Read more: Qatar to stage Asian Champions League final as neutral host

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