December 8, 2021


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South Africa interested in hosting Club World Cup

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South Africa is interested in hosting FIFA’s Club World Cup in December after Japan withdrew because of COVID-19, South African Football Association president Danny Jordaan said Monday.

Jordaan told The Associated Press he would meet with FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura in Lagos, Nigeria this week to get more details on what kind of bid South Africa must present to the world body to host the seven-team men’s tournament.

The Club World Cup will feature European champion Chelsea and the other five continental club competition winners. The league champion from the host country also gets a place.

Japan withdrew last week amid fears the tournament would cause a rise in infections in a country that has just staged the Summer Olympics and Paralympics.

FIFA has yet to comment on the alternative host, with Saudi Arabia also keen to step in.

An extended 24-team Club World Cup was due to debut this year in China but it was shelved because the pandemic required the rescheduling of national team competitions in June and FIFA was unable to raise the necessary funding for the planned quadrennial event. So the seven-team format was extended for another year.

The South African Football Association must get government approval to hold the tournament and meetings with the sports minister were also planned, Jordaan said.

“We’ll know our position by the end of the week,” he said.

South Africa has numerous high-quality stadiums that were built or refurbished for the 2010 World Cup but any ambition to host the Club World Cup would depend on its own coronavirus situation.

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