Ronaldo or Messi heading to the UAE in 2017?
So, it looks like 2017 is going to be a good year for the UAE’s football fans. In fact, 2018 will be a good year, too. It has been announced that the next FIFA Club World Cup will be held in the United Arab Emirates, with the confirmation coming during the handover ceremony from the 2016 tournament just completed in Japan.
The UAE was last host of the tournament in 2009 and 2010 and it is likely that Abu Dhabi will be home to the Club World Cup for the next two years.
Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: "The Championship in Japan has showcased the warmth of its people and demonstrated their passion for football. I would like to thank FIFA for the opportunity to host the Club World Cup in 2017 and 2018. We are bolstered by their confidence based on the past success of the Championships held in our great nation. This is a tremendous honour, which the UAE, with its deep rooted love of football and sport, will execute flawlessly."
The transfer of hosting duties took place before kick-off at the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup final in Japan, between Japanese side Kashima Antlers and Real Madrid. This marked the first time that an Asian team featured in the tournament’s gold medal match.
Real Madrid took the trophy, beating Kashima Antlers 4-2 thanks to a hat-trick from Cristiano Ronaldo.
“The FIFA Club World Cup, the event loved and enjoyed by people around the world, will now be held in the United Arab Emirates for the next two years. It’s been seven years since the UAE last hosted the event and I'm sure the fans in UAE have been awaiting for this event to return. We can't wait to see another wonderful club football tournament held in a wonderful stadium and hosted by a wonderful nation,” said Japanese Football Association (JFA) President Kohzo Tashima.