Liverpool FC players celebrate with the trophy after the final of the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019 against Flamengo in Doha
SHANGHAI (AFP): Shanghai will host the opening ceremony and final of the expanded 2021 Club World Cup in China, state media said.
Eight Chinese cities will stage matches for the FIFA-organised tournament, which will for the first time involve 24 teams rather than the current seven.
Chinese sports authorities officially launched preparations on Tuesday for the Club World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup, Xinhua news agency said.
“We need to set up the organising committee soon and facilitate the construction of venues,” Gou Zhongwen, head of China’s State General Administration of Sport, told a meeting in Beijing.
“Meanwhile, we will work closely with FIFA and AFC to present great events.” FIFA awarded the inaugural edition of the revamped Club World Cup to China in October, underlining the country’s growing clout in football.
It could be a precursor to the world’s most populous country eventually hosting the World Cup proper.
The other cities staging Club World Cup matches in June and July 2021 are Tianjin, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Shenyang, Jinan, Hangzhou and Dalian.
Beijing will host the opening ceremony and final of the 2023 Asian Cup, Xinhua said.