FIFA plans to postpone the World Club Football Championship to the beginning of next year due to problems related to the coronavirus pandemic, AP reports. The restrictions led to Japan's withdrawal from hosting the seven-team tournament in December, and then the Republic of South Africa withdrew due to the need to vaccinate more people in the country.
FIFA is now exploring the possibility of postponing the tournament for January or February, anonymous sources told the AP. Qatar is an option, as in February, when Bayern Munich won the postponed 2020 edition in Doha. This will help the Gulf nation test stadiums for the World Cup, which begins in November 2022. FIFA is scheduled to host the Arab Cup in December in Qatar as part of preparations for the World Cup.
The Club World Cup could attract more fans, as Chelsea will play as the winner of the Champions League. However, this will disrupt the Premier League program for the West London club, as would be the case if the tournament was held on a program in December. The expanded World Club Championship with 24 teams was scheduled to debut in China this year, but was postponed because the pandemic required rescheduling of national team matches in June and FIFA failed to raise the necessary funding. So the format of seven teams was extended for another year, with the six continental club champions joining the winner of the host national league.