We still don’t know when exactly it will happen, but at least we now know where it will happen, after FIFA confirmed today that the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup has been moved to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and will be held sometime early next year (2022). Japan were set to host in December, but they backed out some weeks ago due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns and restrictions.
Which actual Emirate will be the host is not yet official, but it’s likely to be Abu Dhabi, where the 2009, 2010, 2017, 2018 editions of this tournament were played already. (Sorry, Dubai and others!)
FIFA president Gianni Infantino himself confirmed the news at FIFA’s council meeting.
“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.”
-Gianni Infantino; source: The Athletic
The new location is good news in the sense that it’s a shorter distance to travel and thus slightly less disruptive than having to go to Japan. We are set to play two games over the period of four days, one of the semifinals and then either the final or the third place games.
Last year’s edition was also pushed back, and was played in early February, so perhaps we’re looking at a similar timeframe.