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FIFA Club World Cup 2019, Qatar: History, Teams And Venues

The FIFA Club World Cup is back again with its next edition and Qatar will be hosting this prestigious tournament in 2019. A tournament that sees all the best clubs around the world fight it out for the much-coveted title along with a team from its host nation, the FIFA Club World Cup is one of the most recognized football tournaments in the world. Real Madrid holds the record for most victories, winning the competition four times. Teams from Spain have won the tournament seven times, the most for any nation. The current champions are Spain’s Real Madrid, who defeated Al-Ain 4–1 in the final of the 2018 edition. 

History

The competition was first started as the FIFA Club World Championship in 2000. It was not played between 2001 and 2004 due to many reasons but from 2005, the event is being held annually. Brazil, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco have previously hosted the tournament in the past. In 2005, the Intercontinental Cup was merged with the FIFA Club World Championship, and in 2006, the tournament was renamed as the FIFA Club World Cup. 

The current format of the FIFA Club World Cup involves seven teams who have won their leading domestic competition. Winners of the AFC Champions League (Asia), CAF Champions League (Africa), CONCACAF Champions League (North America), Copa Libertadores (South America), OFC Champions League (Oceania), and UEFA Champions League (Europe), along with the host nation’s national champions, participate in the tournament. The host nation’s national champions contest a play-off against the Oceania champions, from which the winner joins the champions of Asia, Africa, and North America it the quarter-finals. The quarter-final winners go on to face the European and South American champions, who enter at the semi-final stage, for a place in the final.

Also Read: Ballon d’Or 2019: Where and Where to Watch and Nominations

Teams

In the FIFA Club World Cup, teams who are the champions of their most competitive domestic league advance through to participate in the tournament.

The seven teams participating in this edition of the tournament are Flamingo (Winners of the 2019 Copa Libertadores), Liverpool (Winners of the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League), Al-Hilal (Winners of the 2019 AFC Champions League), Espérance de Tunis (Winners of the 2018–19 CAF Champions League), Monterrey (Winners of the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League), Hienghène Sport (Winners of the 2019 OFC Champions League) and Al-Sadd (Winners of the 2018–19 Qatar Stars League). Qatar being the host nation, there will be added pressure on the local team having won the most competitive domestic competition to participate in the tournament. 

Venues

FIFA announced three venues for the tournament when it unveiled the schedule on 30 September 2019. All the stadiums are situated in Doha. The Jassim bin Hamad Stadium and the Khalifa International Stadium have hosted matches at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. The Education City Stadium which is a newly-built one is one of the stadiums which will host world cup matches in 2022 with the Khalifa stadium also scheduled to host matches. 

Also Read: Evolution of Football in the United Arab Emirates

Jassim bin Hamad Stadium  15,000 people. The stadium is also used as the home stadium of the Qatar national football team. The stadium was named after the former president of the club Jassim bin Hamad bin Jaber Al-Thani. The Khalifa Stadium can host upto 40000 spectators and is a multi-sports stadium.  It is named after Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar’s former Emir. The Education City Stadium has a seat capacity of 45,350 and is situated in the middle of several university campuses at the Qatar Foundation’s Education City.

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