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Qatar, UAE race to replace Japan as host of FIFA Club World Cup

A general view Al Bayt Stadium on 19 December 2019 at Al Khor City, Qatar. [Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images]
A general view Al Bayt Stadium on 19 December 2019 at Al Khor City, Qatar. [Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images]

Qatar and UAE are reportedly looking to host this year's Club World Cup following Japan's decision to withdraw from holding the competition last month due to coronavirus concerns.

Football governing body FIFA stated an alternative host for the tournament which is to commence in December will be announced in due course. Japan extended emergency restrictions following its hosting of the Olympics and Paralympics over the summer.

Qatar, which is the host for next year's World Cup, has expressed interest in hosting the Club World Cup and joins the UAE and South Africa as potential host nations. Brazil initially hinted at its interest but has since withdrawn its bid.

The Gulf state has previously hosted the two Club World Cups, while neighbouring UAE hosted the 2017 and 2018 competitions, and before that again in 2009 and 2010.

Due to the pandemic, last year's event was postponed and held in February this year and was won by German club Bayern Munich. The 2021 event would have been Japan's ninth tournament as host, since the Club World Cup was launched in 2000 and was intended to coincide with the Japanese Football Association's centenary.

READ: Qatar joins Formula 1 circuit in November

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