A Commentary by Ma Dexing, an All-Media Reporter of Sports Weekly
The UAE media broke the news that the old World Club Cup scheduled to be held in Doha in December this year is likely to be cancelled due to scheduling problems, and the new FIFA Club World Cup scheduled to be held in China may also be changed. . I believe that as soon as the news comes out, Chinese fans pay special attention to its authenticity. After all, China has already obtained the right to host the World Club Cup. It is undoubtedly a blessing to be able to witness the performance of the World Club and many world-class stars at home. So, how true and credible is this news?
①It is difficult to choose the hosting time after the postponement
Affected by the epidemic, major sporting events and football matches around the world have been almost completely disrupted. Most of the matches originally scheduled for this year have been postponed to next year. This has also caused a great impact on the events planned for next year. Like the first FIFA Club World Cup, which was originally scheduled to be held in the summer of 2021, with 24 clubs participating in the FIFA Club World Cup, the postponement has been confirmed. FIFA took the initiative to “gave way” to UEFA and South American Football. Both the European Cup and the America's Cup in summer will be scheduled for the summer of 2021. Under this circumstance, when will the New World Club Cup in China in the summer of 2021 begin? This is obviously a headache.
受这一流行病的影响，世界各地的主要体育赛事和足球比赛几乎被完全破坏。原定于今年进行的大多数比赛都已推迟到明年进行。这也对计划于明年举行的活动产生了很大的影响。与原定于2021年夏天举行的第一届FIFA俱乐部世界杯一样，有24个俱乐部参加了FIFA Club世界杯，这一推迟已得到确认。 FIFA主动为欧足联和南美足球“铺路”。夏季欧洲杯和美洲杯都将定于2021年夏季。在这种情况下，中国新世界俱乐部杯将于2021年夏季何时开始？这显然是令人头疼的。
Since FIFA announced the postponement of the 2021 China Club World Cup, there has been no clear news about the new hosting time. Initially, FIFA President Infantino said that there are three time periods to choose from, namely, the second half of 2021, 2022 or 2023. After the 70th FIFA Congress on September 18 this year, Infantino made it clear: “How can this new event be carried out more reasonably under the current intensive schedule? FIFA still It is still under study, but it is certain that this event must be part of the FIFA plan."
In other words, even FIFA cannot give an exact statement, which of course also involves consultation with China. However, if combined with the current actual situation in China, we can see that among the three time periods initially given, 2022 and 2023 are probably not ideal choices.
First of all, in early 2022, Beijing, China will host the Winter Olympics. This is the first time that China has hosted the Winter Olympics, and there is no need to say more about the importance from top to bottom. Subsequently, Hangzhou will host the Asian Games held every four years in September. Two comprehensive sports events have been held in China one after another. Although the city is different, it is bound to bring a lot of pressure to the host. Interspersing another Club World Cup between these two major events will only increase the pressure. Regardless of the dimensions and levels of security, business development, market development, etc., I am afraid that China will not want to do it again in the summer of 2022. Arrange for a new World Club Cup with 24 teams participating. Of course, with China's ability to run the competitions, it is absolutely confidence to hold these competitions successfully.
From another perspective, FIFA will host the World Cup in 2022. Infantino has repeatedly emphasized in the press conference held after the FIFA Congress in mid-September this year: The World Cup is the work of FIFA. In any case, it will ensure the smooth completion of the World Cup qualifiers on all continents to ensure the smooth progress of the Qatar World Cup in November and December 2022. In the summer of the same year before this World Cup, another club World Cup match will undoubtedly disrupt the qualifiers on all continents. According to the new competition calendar drawn up by FIFA, the national team competition window was specially added in June 2022 to ensure the smooth completion of the world preliminaries on all continents.
In this case, it is obviously out of time to forcefully arrange and intersperse a Club World Cup match. Moreover, doing so will objectively further aggravate the contradiction between the national team and the club: as a player, while representing the national team in the World Cup preliminaries, they must also represent the club in the Club World Cup, regardless of the intensity of the game or the competition The density far exceeds the endurance of athletes. It is impossible for FIFA to ignore the health and safety of players. Moreover, the players representing the club in the Club World Cup in summer and the national team in the World Cup in winter, probably will directly affect the level and quality of these two major events, and fans will also have "visual fatigue".
As a result, the possibility of postponing the expanded New World Club Cup to 2022 does not seem very likely. As for the arrangement in 2023, I am afraid it is even less likely, because China has already won the right to host the 2023 Asian Cup. If FIFA arranges this new Club World Cup to be held in the summer of 2023, there will undoubtedly be conflicts and conflicts with AFC, especially after FIFA "concession" UEFA and South American Football, There is absolutely no need to go to conflict with the AFC and impact the Asian football competition.
Moreover, in this process also need to consider the issue of the FIFA presidential election. Previously, FIFA has made a decision that in order to avoid conflict with the World Cup, the general election of FIFA will be postponed to one year after the "World Cup Year", that is, the 2023 FIFA Congress will produce a new choice. FIFA president so that the World Cup can be played during the four-year term of the FIFA president. For example, the creation of a new 24-team Club World Cup is one of Infantino’s “political achievements” during the second term of the presidency. The hosting of this event will bring great opportunities to FIFA and the international football family. The economic benefit will also be an important weight for Infantino's re-election campaign. If the event is postponed to 2023, it will undoubtedly affect its "political performance." Therefore, postponing this option to 2023 can basically be ruled out.
In this way, the rest is probably what Infantino calls "later in 2021" (referring to autumn or winter in 2021).
② "Speaking" is not groundless
According to reports from the UAE media, one thing seems certain: FIFA’s timing of the new Club World Cup will probably be scheduled for the end of 2021. Since UEFA has firmly opposed Infantino from the very beginning as the new Club World Cup plan, as a result of the compromise of the interests of all parties, the seven-team Old World Club Cup scheduled to be held in Doha in December this year is very important. It may be cancelled. And UEFA will also make concessions, agreeing to Infantino's favorite schedule of the Club World Cup at the end of 2021. In this way, it avoids the situation where Bayern participates in the Club World Cup twice in a year and reduces unnecessary consumption.
If FIFA and UEFA finally reach an agreement to determine the World Club Cup at the end of 2021, then, for China, the current reality is: due to the vast area and the large temperature difference between the north and the south, it will be arranged in winter 11. If the competition is held at the end of the month and in December, northern cities such as Shenyang, Dalian, Beijing, Tianjin, etc., which have been determined to host the competition, are probably not suitable for the competition, and the quality of the competition is naturally difficult to guarantee. This is one of them.
Second, from the perspective of security, the Winter Olympics will be held in February 2022. I believe that deployments must be made in advance from top to bottom to ensure the smooth development of the Winter Olympics. Inserting such a large-scale global event less than 2 months before the start of the Winter Olympics is under great pressure. This is undoubtedly an issue that requires careful consideration by the parties concerned. One possible situation is to choose to strategically abandon the hosting of the Club World Cup on the premise of ensuring the Winter Olympics. Moreover, this possibility is quite large.
As a result, the UAE media's revelations are probably not "groundless". Of course, so far, no matter whether it is FIFA or China, there is no official official news, and the relevant situation can only wait further.
However, it is worth noting that the news surrounding China's hosting of the 2023 Asian Cup, whether it is venue construction or other preparatory work, has never been interrupted. On the contrary, before the 2023 Asian Cup, there is no news of the preparations for the World Club Cup. This is very intriguing.
In any case, China hasn’t hosted a world football tournament for years. It’s hard to get the right to host the brand new FIFA Club World Cup. No matter from which point of view, it will benefit the development of Chinese football. It will play a positive role in the construction of all aspects of Chinese society. Therefore, as a last resort, I believe we will definitely not give up the opportunity to host this matter. As for how the final situation will develop? Let us wait for the official announcement.
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