South Africa bids to host Club World Cup after Japan’s withdrawal due to pandemic

Japan was the host of the event, which features Champions League winners Chelsea, until it pulled out due to the pandemic

Sarah Rendell
Monday 13 September 2021 15:01
<p>Romelu Lukaku would travel with Chelsea for the Club World Cup </p>

Romelu Lukaku would travel with Chelsea for the Club World Cup

Chelsea may travel to South Africa after the country threw its hat in the ring to host the Club World Cup following Japan’s withdrawal due to the pandemic.

South African Football Association president Danny Jordaan said he would meet with Fifa secretary general Fatma Samoura in Nigeria later this week to discuss the country’s bid.

“We’ll know our position by the end of the week,” Jordaan told the Associated Press. He added he would need the government’s approval and that meetings were already scheduled to discuss the matter.

Six other clubs will compete against Thomas Tuchel’s side at the tournament in December, though plans were in place to extend the competition this year. Fifa wanted to hold a 24-team Club World Cup but the pandemic put a halt to their plans.

It is thought South Africa can go ahead with the bid as restrictions have started to ease in the country, after it suffered another wave of Covid in the summer. The country is one of the worst hit in Africa after suffering more than 84,000 deaths and reporting 2.8 million cases.

With the announcement of restrictions easing last Sunday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government is formulating plans around getting fans back into stadiums, something that hasn’t happened in South Africa since the pandemic began.

Vaccine passports are likely to be put in place which would boost the country’s chances of hosting the tournament.

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