The 2021 FIFA Club World Cup is officially still scheduled for December 9-19 later this year, but without a confirmed host at the moment after Japan backing out, those dates are looking increasingly unlikely.
In fact, a report from Abu Dhabi-based The National claims that FIFA are considering a “revised date” for the competition, most likely early next year — similar to how the 2020 edition was pushed back from December to February due to the pandemic. (From a Chelsea perspective, moving the competition to later and out of the busy holiday period would probably be welcome.)
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was the reason behind Japan’s withdrawal from hosting duties, and those concerns are playing into the search for a new location as well. The UAE FA have held discussions with FIFA, according to the report, while similar positive claims have been made by the South African FA recently as well.
Qatar, who hosted the last two years, could be an option again, but they are already hosting the newfangled FIFA Arab Cup as their warm-up tournament for next year’s World Cup. A few stray Twitter rumors have put forward Las Vegas as a potential destination as well — fun! — though the smart money right now is surely on the UAE and Abu Dhabi specifically, where the 2009, 2010, 2017, and 2018 editions were held.