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Chelsea’s bid to win the 2021 Club World Cup has been disrupted after FIFA confirmed the tournament will no longer be held in Japan due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fifa have confirmed that the Japan Football Association (JFA) have informed the organisation that they are unable to host the competition due to Covid-19 and potential restrictions on fan attendance.
“Fifa can confirm that it has been informed today by the Japan Football Association (JFA) that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and hosting situation in the country, they are no longer in a position to host the Fifa Club World Cup 2021,” a statement from Fifa read.
“Fifa would like to thank the JFA for their work and commitment and looks forward to going back to Japan in the future. Further details about an alternative host for the Fifa Club World Cup 2021 will be announced by Fifa in due course.”
The event is scheduled for December 2021. It has been rumoured that the competition may now be moved in its entirety to Qatar, who have hosted it the past two years.
The Middle Eastern nation is due to host the Fifa World Cup next winter and the Club World Cup could be used as preparation for that.
The 2021 edition of the annual club football tournament had been originally intended to be an expanded version held in China in the summer.
However the coronavirus pandemic necessitated the shifting of a number of international football competitions, including Euro 2020, and the plan to expand the Club World Cup was postponed.
Chelsea will enter at the semi-final stage, and bid to succeed Bayern Munich in following Champions League success with victory at the global competition.