South Africa is reportedly shown interest in hosting the next FIFA’s Club World Cup in December 2021. The news comes after Japan, which recently hosted the Paralympics and Summer Olympics, withdrew its bid last week over fears that the football tournament would again cause a surge in infections in the country.
Football Association President of South Africa Danny Jordaan is likely to meet Secretary-General of FIFA Fatma Samoura in Nigeria to get details about the kind of strategy South Africa will have to present to the international body to host the upcoming tournament.
The Club World Cup will feature seven continental club competition winners including European champion Chelsea as well as the league champion from the host country.
It is worth noting here that an extended 24-team Club World Cup was likely to debut in China in 2021. However, it was canceled following the rescheduling of national competitions in June, primarily due to the spread of COVID-19 and FIFA’s inability to secure the funds required for the planned event.
The Football Association of South Africa will be required to receive government approval to hold the tournament, cited sources with relevant information. While the country has various high-quality stadiums, which were built or renovated for the 2010 World Cup, the decision will also depend on South Africa’s Coronavirus situation.
Interestingly, a decrease in virus infections has been reported in South Africa over the last two weeks. South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has also eased movement restrictions recently and announced plans to allow spectators into stadiums using vaccine passports.
This development is likely to encourage FIFA to hold the upcoming Club World Cup in South Africa, sources claimed.
South Africa is still considered to be the worst-affected African country with 2.8 million cases recorded, and 84,000 deaths reported since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2019. However, less than 4000 cases were recorded on 12th September, which is lower than the 20,000 cases reported daily a few months back.