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UAE to host 2009, 2010 Club World Cup - FIFA

27 May 2008 09:10

SYDNEY (AFP) - The United Arab Emirates will host the Club World Cup in 2009 and 2010 after beating off rival bids from Australia, Japan and Portugal, world governing body FIFA announced on Tuesday.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said the Club World Cup would return to Japan, which has hosted the revamped tournament since 2005, for 2011 and 2012.

Blatter said the UAE's attractive bid and its suitability for the December time slot made it a good choice for the intercontinental championship, won last year by AC Milan.

"It was the will of FIFA and our executive committee to bring the Club World Cup to other continents and countries," Blatter told a press conference here ahead of this week's FIFA Congress.

"But I must say it's not easy because we are bound by the constraints of the international calendar to play it in December and in that month we have one week to play."

Premier League stars Manchester United will play this year's edition of the tournament, which currently features the champions of each continent plus a team from the host country.

Australian officials Sunday said they had submitted a bid to host the 2009 and 2010 and events, and Blatter revealed FIFA had also received a proposal from Portugal.

"As there is already so much club football at the highest level I don't think it would a promotion of the World Club Cup to go back to Europe," he said.

Blatter said Mexico, the United States and South Africa were other contenders to host future Club World Cups.

"Finally, it was between Japan and the United Arab Emirates and I must say the UAE's proposal was a very attractive one and we wanted to have a change," he said.

"We knew of the ability of Japan to organise this competition but now we have given the priority to the UAE and they have given us the financial guarantees to organise this competition."

FIFA also announced that Colombia will host the under-20 World Cup in 2011, Mexico will stage the 2011 under-17 World Cup and Trinidad and Tobago will host the 2010 women's under-17 World Cup.

Dates of next year's under-20 World Cup in Egypt have also been changed to September 25-October 16, FIFA said.

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