FIFA has confirmed today that they were informed by the Japan Football Association (JFA) that they won’t be able to host the Club World Cup, this year, to the COVID-19 pandemic and hosting situation in the country.
Japan has been facing a big challenge with the Delta variant of the virus with the country having a seven day rolling average of more than 13,000 cases a day. Hospitals in the capital city, Tokyo have been stretched for resources. The possibility of not having a crowd has also played a big factor in the JFA’s decision not to host the cup this year with their financials being decimated due to the pandemic, as their profits dropped to 5 million yen from the 15 million yen this year.
JFA Secretary-General and CEO Kiyotaka Suhara had confirmed this news too in an online press conference. The possibility of having vaccination passports or negative tests had been considered among the officials but the final decision came down to relinquishing hosting duties this year.
The Emperor’s Cup will probably be rescheduled to the original slot of the Club World Cup. The domestic cup of Japan is usually held on the 1st of January but may occupy this slot now and this will give the Japanese players some rest for their World Cup qualifying matches on January 27th and February 1st of 2022.
FIFA is yet undecided about the new hosts or the dates as the tournament is usually held during December but now, a slot has to be found for the tournament to be held with a new host. There may be a possibility that Qatar can be the new venue so that FIFA can test their potential before the World Cup begins next year but we will have to wait and watch.