ZURICH (NWN) – FIFA on Monday confirmed the dates for the delayed 2021 Club World Cup, with the February 3-12 tournament in the United Arab Emirates requiring Chelsea to postpone two Premier League games.
The schedule was announced hours before the tournament draw was held in Zurich.
The seven-team lineup was completed on Saturday when Palmeiras won the Copa Libertadores.
Champions League winners Chelsea, and Palmeiras enter the semi-final stage and then go on to play the final or third-place game.
Premier League leaders Chelsea were to play in Brighton on 8 February and host Arsenal on 12 February. Those games should now be rescheduled.
The tournament also featured African champions Al Ahly, Asian champions Al Hilal, CONCACAF Champions League winners Monterey, Oceania champions Auckland City and the host country’s domestic title winners Al Jazeera.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed plans for the 2021 Club World Cup twice.
It was originally supposed to be the opening extended edition in China in June and July. That launch was postponed by FIFA after the 2020 editions of the European Championship and Copa America were pushed back a year.
A traditional seven-team Club World Cup, scheduled to be hosted by Japan in December, withdrew three months ago citing possible travel restrictions in the pandemic.
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