COVID-19 forces Auckland City FC to withdraw from FIFA Club World Cup

Mahmoud Elassal , Friday 15 Jan 2021

The FIFA Club World Cup is scheduled to take place from 1-11 February in Qatar

Auckland City FC
File Photo: Auckland City FC. AFP

FIFA announced on Friday that Auckland City FC of New Zealand have withdrawn from the coming edition of the FIFA Club World Cup due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The FIFA Club World Cup is scheduled to take place from 1 February to 11th of the same month in Qatar.

"FIFA has [just] been informed by Auckland City FC that, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and related quarantine measures required by the New Zealand authorities, the club will be unable to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup 2020," read a statement by FIFA.

FIFA confirmed that despite their regular exchanges with the club, New Zealand Football and the OFC in recent days, the requirements of the New Zealand authorities in relation to isolation and quarantine however, go beyond FIFA’s remit and therefore it was not possible to reach a solution.

The participants in the FIFA Club World Cup, after the departure of Auckland City, will be as follow: Qatar's Al-Duhail SC, Egypt's Ahly SC, Germany's FC Bayern Munich, South Korean Ulsan Hyundai FC, Mexican Tigres UANL and the winners of the CONMEBOL Libertadores final scheduled for 30 January.

"FIFA together with the Qatari authorities, will implement a comprehensive medical and security protocol providing the safeguards required to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in the competition," read the statement. 

FIFA confirmed that the competition format remains otherwise unchanged as the first-round match will no longer take place and Al-Duhail SC will begin the competition in the second round.

"The draw to finalise the pairings will take place in Zurich on 19 January at 16:00 CET," FIFA said in the statement.

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