Sources: The Club World Cup will move until 2022
Chelsea’s bid to become world champion faces further disruption, with FIFA planning to postpone the Club World Cup from its current December date to a new time slot in 2022, sources have told ESPN.
The annual competition, contested by champions from each continental confederation, has already been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with Japan stepping down as host of this year’s tournament scheduled to take place December 9-19 in Yokohama. .
FIFA confirmed Japan’s decision on September 9 when, after hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo without spectators at the event’s stadiums, the Japan Football Association announced that it was no longer in able to host the Club World Cup.
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A new host has yet to be found to replace Japan. Sources told ESPN that FIFA are considering moving the competition to a date in the New Year, with February being the most likely option.
The 2020 Club World Cup in Qatar has also been moved from December to February 2021 due to the pandemic.
Moving away from the December competition will help ease Chelsea’s fixture list, with Thomas Tuchel’s side already facing seven games this month, not counting the prospect of two more competitive Club World Cup matches. .
Chelsea have only scheduled four games in February, although that number will increase if they advance in the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Champions League.
A European club have won the last eight editions of the FIFA Club World Cup, with Chelsea being the last Champions League-winning team not to win the trophy in their loss to the Corinthians in Yokohama in December 2012.
Chelsea, African champions Al Ahly and Oceania representatives Auckland City are the only confirmed participants in this season’s Club World Cup.
The champions of Asia, South America and the CONCACAF region of North and Central America have yet to be decided. The winners of the host country’s national league, as yet unknown, will also participate.