How to watch Fifa Club World Cup & everything you need to know about tournament in UAE


Bayern Munich won the 2020 Club World Cup, beating Mexico’s Tigres in Qatar in February 2021Dates: 3-12 February Host country: United Arab Emirates Coverage: Text coverage of Chelsea’s matches on the BBC Sport websiteThe 2021 Fifa Club World Cup, featuring the champions of different continents, kicks off on Thursday in the United Arab Emirates.

European champions Chelsea are among seven teams from six confederations competing to become the club world champions in Abu Dhabi.

The annual event was due to take place in December 2021 before Japan, the original hosts, pulled out in Septemberexternal-link because of Covid-19 restrictions in the country.

Fifa has been criticised for rescheduling the 18th edition of the Club World Cup while the Africa Cup of Nations is taking place.

Former Egypt international Mido said in November the new scheduling was “disrespectful” to Africa.

Chelsea discover Club World Cup routeClub World Cup: Have you ever seen a better disallowed goal?Where can I watch the Fifa Club World Cup?Channel 4 have the UK terrestrial TV rights to the Fifa Club World Cup.

Chelsea’s semi-final on Wednesday, 9 February will be on E4 and if the Blues reach the final on Saturday, 12 February the game will be shown on Channel 4 – both games kick-off at 16:30 GMT.

What’s the format and when are the games?Two teams will compete in the first round on Thursday – Tahiti’s AS Pirae and Al Jazira from host nation the United Arab Emirates – with the winners advancing to the second round.

Pirae, who are representing the Oceania Football Confederation, are making their debut at the tournament. Al Jazira, who are managed by former Ajax boss Marcel Keizer, are the 2020-21 UAE Pro League champions.

The winners will go through to the second round which features Egypt’s Al Ahly, who are competing in the Club World Cup for the seventh time.

Mexican club Monterrey, the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League winners, and Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal also enter at this round.

African Champions League winners Al Ahly play Monterrey on 5 February, with Asian champions Al Hilal taking on the first-round winners the following day.

The two second-round winners will advance to the semi-finals where European champions Chelsea and South American champions Palmeiras enter.

Brazilian club Palmeiras will play the winners of the Al Ahly-Monterrey tie on 8 February and Chelsea will face the winners of the Al Hilal-Al Jazira/AS Pirae match on 9 February.

The final is on 12 February and takes place after the third-place play-off earlier in the day.

Messi & Suarez score as Barca win Club World Cup in 2015How has Covid impacted the tournament?While Japan hosted both the Olympic and Paralympic Games last summer, it pulled out of hosting the Club World Cup as it grappled with its worst Covid wave.

The 2021 event was set to be the ninth time the tournament had been hosted in Japan, and would have coincided with the Japanese Football Association’s (JFA) 100th anniversary celebrations.

Fifa confirmed in November the tournament would be held in the United Arab Emirates instead.

Auckland City were originally due to represent the Oceania Football Confederation but withdrewexternal-link in December because of the pandemic and their spot was handed to AS Pirae.

Where are the venues?The United Arab Emirates is hosting the tournament for the fifth time. Only Japan – eight times – has hosted it more.

European clubs have triumphed the previous four times it has been held in the UAE – Barcelona (2009), Inter Milan (2010), and Real Madrid (2017, 2018).

All eight matches – there is also a fifth-place play-off on 9 February – are in Abu Dhabi at two venues.

The Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium – which has a 37,500 capacity – is staging four games including Chelsea’s semi-final and the final.

The other venue is the 15,000 capacity Al Nahyan Stadium.

The Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium where Chelsea will play their semi-final match on 9 FebruaryAre Chelsea taking it seriously?Absolutely. Only two English clubs have won the tournament in the previous 17 editions – Manchester United in 2008 in Japan and Liverpool in 2019 in Qatar.

Chelsea were finalists in 2012 when Rafael Benitez’s side lost 1-0 to Brazilian club Corinthians in Japan.

Cesar Azpilicueta is the only player still at the club who featured in the final in Yokohama 10 years ago.

Chelsea are competing for trophies on five fronts after reaching the Carabao Cup final, which takes place on 27 February, 15 days after the Club World Cup final.

They are third in the Premier League – 10 points behind leaders Manchester City with 14 games left – in the fourth round of the FA Cupand face French champions Lille in the last 16 of the Champions League over two legs on 22 February at Stamford Bridge and 16 March in France.

Blues boss Thomas Tuchel has previously said he will not prioritise any competition.external-link

Asked in December about sacrificing the Carabao Cup for the Club World Cup, he added: “We will never do this because if we think we need to rest players or give players a chance to play, like it’s a tradition in the Carabao Cup, then we will do it – but we will always prepare to win the match.

Highlights: Chelsea 0-1 Corinthians”This is the spirit we have to keep going.

“It is a struggle, of course it is a struggle and it feels very demanding, I can assure you of that. For everybody, the staff and the players, but we will push through and pursue it, there is no other option.

“We love to be in these competitions and we want to stay in them. We want to arrive in March, April or May in these competitions.

“So no, we don’t start judging games and the value for those games.”

Chelsea’s participation means Premier League games against Brighton and Arsenal – on 8 and 12 February respectively – have been postponed.

Past winnersA European side has won the past eight editions of the tournament.

Bayern Munich are the current Club World Cup champions after beating Mexico’s Tigres in the 2020 edition of the final played in Qatar in February 2021.

However, they cannot win it this time after going out of last season’s Champions League at the quarter-final stage.

Before Liverpool triumphed in the 2019 final, the Club World Cup was won by teams in Spain between 2014 and 2018 – Real Madrid (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018) and Barcelona (2015).

Bayern Munich also won it in 2013.

Real Madrid are the most successful club in the history of the Club World Cup – winning it four times in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018The last team outside Europe to win it were Brazilian side Corinthians, overcoming Chelsea in the 2012 final.

None of the teams in the 2021 edition have won the competition.

Like Chelsea, Palmeiras are taking part for only the second time.

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