Japan's decision to withdrew from the hosting rights of FIFA Club World Cup 2021 next December due to the rising concern of COVID-19 contraction has led to the emergence of two nations battling for its replacement. UEA and South Africa have been reportedly intensifying their approach to FIFA regarding such rights.
Currently those two sides are engaged to the talks with FIFA for such possibility. South Africa was the first to declare their interest for holding it. It would be the first FIFA tournament staged in there after World Cup 2010. SAFA (South Africa Football Association) President, Danny Jordaan has met FIFA President Gianni Infantino and believed the positive responds from them.
"The president had a chat with the Fifa hierarchy, which includes the president and the secretary general, and with Confederation of African Football president Patrice Motsepe. We have written an official letter to Fifa to ask them about the terms of reference with regards to what is needed for South Africa to host the [Club] World Cup. So everything is all systems go as far as we are concerned.", Head of communications in SAFA, Dominic Chimhavi, stated.
The matches for the seven-team Club World Cup will definitely take place in Johannesburg and Cape Towns for the semifinals and final plus some other cities at the earlier stage. Nevertheless, their status as one of the red listed country by UK Government could be their biggest obstacle, despite the claim that the number of covid case has dropped significantly plus 10 million people havd been vaccinated.
From Middle East, UEA also has been reportedly in the middle of discussion with FIFA about the hosting right. Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, the president of UEA football association, has confirmed it and recently still in progress. They might have the advantage of being selected again due to the experience of staging the similar competition in four editions, 2009, 2010, 2017 and 2018.
However, the world football governing body has yet officially made any statement to announce the host up to now. There is even a chance that the tournament which is originally set to begin on December 9 and finish on the 19th, might be resechuled to the early 2022. Such delay is not the first time as FIFA did it before in early 2020 for the 2019 edition.
The contestants of this year's FIFA Club World Cup still consist of Chelsea as UEFA Champions League winner, Al-Ahly of CAF and Auckland City, the Oceanian champions. AFC is currently still seeking the champions since its Champions League quarter finals are underway, while CONMEBOL's Copa Libertadores has reached the last four with another potential all Brasilian final again since Flamengo is only one step away progressing to the summit after the first leg win over Barcelona Quayaquil whereas the defending Champions Palmeiras was held in a stalemate by Atletico Miniero in the othed semifinal. Meanwhile, the CONCACAF representative will be either Monterrey or Club America, the two Mexican finalist this year.