FIFA has been informed by Auckland City FC that, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and related quarantine measures required by the New Zealand authorities, the club will be unable to participate in next month’s FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar.
Despite FIFA’s regular exchanges with the club, New Zealand Football and OFC in recent days, the requirements of the New Zealand authorities in relation to isolation and quarantine go beyond FIFA’s remit and, therefore, it was not possible to reach a solution.
FIFA together with the Qatari authorities, will implement a comprehensive medical and security protocol providing the safeguards required to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in the competition.
Following the withdrawal of Auckland City, the FIFA Club World Cup will be contested by Al-Duhail SC, Al Ahly SC, FC Bayern Munich, Ulsan Hyundai FC, Tigres UANL and the winners of the CONMEBOL Libertadores final scheduled for January 30.
The first-round match will no longer take place as no other OFC team will attend in place of Auckland City and Al Duhail SC will begin the competition in the second round. The competition format remains otherwise unchanged.
The draw to finalise the pairings will take place in Zurich on January 19 at 16:00 CET.
Courtesy of FIFA