Two days before the final day of the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2009, presented by TOYOTA, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee held a news conference in Abu Dhabi. Addressing the press was FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke, chairman of the UAE 2009 organising committee Chuck Blazer, United Arab Emirates President Mohammed Khalfan Al-Rumaithi, General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, His Excellency Mohammed Ibrahim Al Mahmood.
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter on the organisation of the tournament
The president Mohammed Khalfan Al-Rumaithi was being too humble when he said they will do better next year. It is not possible, because the organisational skill, premises, stadiums, hospitality, media arrangements, transport and everything has been the best. I can only congratulate the government of Abu Dhabi.
United Arab Emirates President Mohammed Khalfan Al-Rumaithi on what the host nation will do differently for next year’s FIFA Club World Cup.
We will stay as we are, working very hard. We will look at what we can improve, how we can attract more spectators. But the FIFA President has mentioned a lot of good things about this tournament, and we know we have done an excellent job. The LOC and FIFA have just finished our second meeting and discussed everything related to the tournament, and there were a lot of positive points. We’ve had some recommendations from the FIFA President which we will take into consideration for next year. We promise to do our best for the remainder of this competition and next year.
Chuck Blazer on whether the format of the competition favours teams from Europe and South America, and whether FIFA are considering changing it.
When we created this competition, it was with the understanding that we were taking an existing competition and expanding it to become a big world competition, to include the other confederations. The previous competition had Europe and South America playing on a single date in December. By expanding it to allow teams from other confederations to participate, we realised that we’d need to create a system whereby those European and South American teams would only miss one weekend (of domestic action). This was an agreement that we made back then in order to enable this competition to take place. At this point it is the current format and I expect it to be the format for the next few years. It’s not something that is prejudicial (towards the teams from Europe and South America). It’s something that has enabled the other teams to be involved.
This is club football at its best. The quality of football has been excellent. Regardless of who lifts the trophy, the winner will be football.
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter on the quality of football on show at UAE 2009.
This is a competition in which entertaining football is played - look at the two semi-final matches we’ve just witnessed. The teams here want to present spectacular football. We will definitely be happy to be back next year and I’m sure it will be another wonderful competition.
United Arab Emirates President Mohammed Khalfan Al-Rumaithi on Al Ahli's disappointing showing.
Unfortunately Al Ahli didn’t play well. It was a shame for the tournament. This is a huge, prestigious competition. I urge whichever club wins the UAE League to prepare themselves well for next year’s FIFA Club World Cup, because the longer the host team stays in, the better it is for the competition. It will certainly improve attendances.
FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke on whether the United Arab Emirates are in consideration to host the FIFA Club World Cup in 2013.
There is a process. We will see which national associations enter the bidding. UAE will host the competition next year and they are welcome to enter the bidding again after it goes to Japan (in 2011 and 2012). But as I said, there’s a process for the bidding.
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter on whether it would be better for the tournament if Estudiantes or Barcelona win the final.
This is club football at its best. The quality of football has been excellent. (The final) must be a fiesta of football. Regardless of who lifts the trophy, the winner will be football.