Japan no longer able to host 2021 Club World Cup due to Covid-19
Japan will no longer host the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup due to the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus that has put the country under series of lockdowns.
After hosting the 2020 Olympics between June and July, and the 2020 Paralympics in August, Japan was set to put on the international club football tournament which is usually held in December, but have decided to relinquish its right to the event after discussions with FIFA.
The Japan Football Association (JFA) was making preparations to stage the competition for the first time in five years, but with coronavirus-related issues still lingering, fears grew as to whether the decision would be profitable to the Asian country.
According to Japanese media, the Japan Football Association chief executive Kiyotaka Suhara revealed the decision in a virtual press conference following a board meeting today on Thursday.
According to the reports Suhara stated, “we had to make a decision at this time”, and the news follows on from the JFA president Kozo Tashima claiming that the federation had to “dip into savings” due to the absence of supporters at the national team fixtures throughout the year.
FIFA is yet to comment or announce an alternate location or dates for the Club World Cup, but the announcement further compounds Japan’s problems after they were forced to cancel a friendly match with England earlier in 2021.
The FIFA Club World Cup is usually held in December and the participants are continental Champions from every continent and was founded in the year 2000 by FIFA.
The tournament was last held in Qatar in December 2020 and 2020 UEFA Champions League winners Bayern Munich emerge victorious in the tournament defeating Mexico side Tigres UANL in the finals by a margin of 1-0, the same margin they won the Champions League with.
This year, 2021 UEFA Champions League winners Chelsea are the most favourites to win the trophy which is the only trophy missing in the Blues cabinet in every tournament they have participated in since 2000.
Chelsea last participated in FIFA Club World Cup in 2012 after winning their maiden Champions League but came short in the finals losing 1-0 to Japanese side Corinthians who boast of two FIFA Club World Cup trophies.
Since the maiden tournament in 2004, Real Madrid is the most successful club in the tournament with four Club World Cup triumphs. Remarkably, Real Madrid is also the most successful club in the UEFA Champions League. Following Madrid in Club World Cup success is its immediate La Liga rivals Barcelona who have emerged victorious thrice in the competition. Corinthians and Bayern Munich each have two Club World Cup trophies whilst Premier League sides Liverpool and Manchester United, Brazil sides Sao Paulo and Internacional, and Serie A city rivals AC Milan and Inter Milan each have one Club World Cup title.