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FIFA Club World Cup

Updated: Oct 26, 2020

By Juan P. Villarroel

The Club World Cup is a FIFA-organized international club soccer tournament between the champions of each confederation club tournament, as well as the host nation's league champions. The tournament will be hosted by Qatar starting on Dec. 11 with the final scheduled for 10 days later on the 21st. The tournament will be taking place at three venues in Doha.

Official Logo of the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup

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The seven teams that earned the right to participate in this tournament are: Al-Sadd for being champions of the Qatar League, Hienghène Sport from New Caledonia, winners of the Champions League of Oceania, Espérance de Tunis from Tunisia. Champions of the African Champions League, Monterrey from Mexico for winning the CONCACAF tournament, Liverpool from England for winning their first UEFA Champions League in 14 years, and finally Flamengo from Brazil, for winning the Copa Libertadores after 38 years.

The format for this tournament is single-elimination in which teams play in one-off matches, with extra time and penalty shoot-outs used to decide the winner in the event of a tie during the 90 minutes of regulation time. The host team and the representatives of Oceania start in the first match of the tournament, the winner of that match plays the team from North America with the Asian and African teams starting in the other leg of the second round. In the Semi-finals, the winners of the second round matches play teams from Europe and South America, and finally, the two remaining teams play in the finals. According to, the prize money ranges from $500,000 for the seventh-place team to $5 million for the winner of the tournament.

Next year’s edition in 2020 will be the final year of the current format with seven teams. In late 2016, FIFA President Gianni Infantino suggested an expansion of the tournament consisting of 24 teams and instead of it being held annually in December, the Club World Cup would be held every four years in the summer, one year prior to each World Cup, thus replacing the FIFA Confederations Cup.

In March of this year, FIFA officially announced the expanded competition to begin on June 17, 2021, and conclude on July 4 of the same year. On Oct. 24, 2019, the FIFA council unanimously chose China to host this expanded tournament. In order to fill up the 24 slots, eight will be given to UEFA which is to be filled by the winners of the Champions and Europa League between 2018 and 2021. CONMEBOL has been given six slots, with two of each to be awarded to the champions of Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana, and Supercopa Sudamericana. Three slots will be given to CONCACAF (North America), AFC (Asia), and CAF (Africa) respectfully. The team representing China and OFC (Oceania) will have to attempt to qualify through a play-off match in order to obtain the 24th and final slot. According to FIFA, the new format will consist of eight groups with three teams each, the team finishing in first place in each group moves on to the Quarter Finals. During the knockout rounds, in the event of a draw, extra time will not be used, instead, the winner will be decided through a penalty shootout as a way to diminish accumulated fatigue.

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