The United Arab Emirates has been chosen to host next year’s FIFA Club World Cup.
Okay, that’s not the FIFA World Cup played by national sides, held every four years and watched by billions of people around the planet but it’s still a pretty big deal.
The FIFA Club World Cup is the international tournament which sees seven club teams from roughly seven continents competing against each other after winning their respective continental championships.
It includes the winners of that year’s AFC Champions League (Asia), CAF Champions League (Africa), CONCACAF Champions League (North America), Copa Libertadores (South America), OFC Champions League (Oceania) and of course the UEFA Champions League (Europe).
The current champions are Real Madrid, who beat Japanese side Kashima Antlers 4-2 in a disputed final last Sunday in Yokohama, Japan.
You can watch the match highlights here:
“We remain single-minded in our commitment to bringing world-class sports events to Abu Dhabi and Al Ain and making the UAE an epicenter of sporting events,” His Excellency Aref Al Awani, General Secretary, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said after confirmation the UAE had been chosen as the next host.
That statement leads us to believe that none of the games will be played in Dubai unfortunately, but still only a short drive away.
Previous UAE editions of the FIFA Club World Cup in 2009 and 2010 were played in the capital’s Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, the home ground of Al Jazira Club.
“The UAE welcomes fans to the Club World Cup in 2017 with our traditional Arabic hospitality, state-of-the-art infrastructure and stadia, with world-class travel and leisure options,” Alawani concluded.
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) December 19, 2016