The Japanese FA has opted out of hosting this year’s FIFA Club World Cup, which is due to begin in December, in regards to coronavirus concerns.
On Thursday, the Japanese government extended emergency coronavirus restrictions, in Tokyo and other regions, until the end of the month.
A FIFA statement read: “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 Club World Cup.”
In December 2020, Japan was named the host nation of the Cup, after a continuous rescheduling during the pandemic. The country’s title of eight-time Club World Cup host will remain the same, with it’s last being in 2016.
“FIFA would like to thank the JFA for their work and commitment and looks forward to going back to Japan in the future,” FIFA continued. “Further details about an alternative host for the FIFA Club World Cup 2021 will be announced by FIFA in due course.”
Bayern Munich took the title of 2020 Club World Cup winners, which was played in Qatar in February this year, after being postponed due to COVID-19.
Pandemic related issues were a constant source of controversy throughout 2021 in Japan in relation to the country’s hosting of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics – originally rescheduled from 2020 as a result of the virus – with debates taking place regarding the number of both domestic and international spectators, conditions in the Olympic village and marketing arrangements.