Japan recently confirmed the withdrawal as the host of the tournament due to expanding cases of COVID-19 in Japan.
The news reports confirmed that JFA is concerned about the risk of rising cases of Covid-19 infection.
Withdrawal due to COVID & Financial Loss
Japan reported more than a 1.5million cases of Covid-19 since March. The total number of death due to Covid-19 is around 16,000 now.
Since the beginning of the Tokyo Olympics, the COVID cases were increasing. The authorities, as well as the public, were concerned that the tournament is the reason for the increasing numbers. But the Japanese government claimed that the Olympics was not the reason for it, and the Olympics Games were a success.
JFA (Japan Football Association) is also concerned about the probable lack of fans, which will restrict the association’s chance of building profits from supporting the competition.
Earlier, Japan faced financial loss during the Tokyo Olympics from ticket sales. Due to safety measures, Japan decided not to include spectators on the ground, and as a result, they lost money. The committee was discussing creating a solution for the loss.
FIFA is Optimistic for the Future
FIFA confirmed on Thursday in a statement, “FIFA confirms that JFA informed them today that, due to the Pandemic and hosting situation in Japan, The country is no longer in a position of hosting the FIFA Club World Cup 2021“.
The Football Association thanked JFA for their commitment and work. FIFA expresses the wish to go back to Japan in the future.
The news regarding additional details about the alternative hosts for the FIFA Club World Cup will soon be revealed by FIFA.
FIFA Club World Cup to Postpone?
The JFA giving up the hosting rights will leave FIFA struggling to find a venue for the FIFA Club World Cup 2021. It involves the Champions of each of the six federations and the Champions of the J-League.
The Anonymous sources are reporting that FIFA is considering postponing the Club World Cup tournament.
Before announcing the withdrawal, a senior JFA official told the Kyodo news, “Unless we forge a path to where we can stage the events in coexistence with the virus, soccer, also the other sports, won’t be able to sustain themselves”
Also read: Indian Cricket Team annoyed the BCCI
Teams and Format of FIFA Club World Cup 2021
This tournament of 2021 will be the 18th edition of the FIFA Club World Cup. The football tournament includes the winners of the 6 continental confederations, also the host nation’s champions league.
A total of seven teams are ready to take part in the tournament.
Chelsea, the UEFA Champions League’s winner is now in doubt to participate in this year’s FIFA Club World Cup 2021 as Japan withdraws.
This year’s Club World Cup was originally scheduled to be held in China. The format was decided to be under the upgraded 24-team format before the rescheduling of Tokyo 2020. Also, the other events enforced FIFA to roll back the tournament.
FIFA decides that now it will happen using the traditional seven-team format.
Gianna Infantino, FIFA’s President promised in December that the 24-team event will happen in the future. He said, “It’s still on objective, we just haven’t decided when it’ll take place”
This is not the first time the Pandemic is ruining a sporting tournament for the fans. But the changing situations of safety measures are making it easier for the tournaments to happen. Let’s just hope the adaptation process will get faster so that the COVID won’t interfere in sports in the future.