On the eve of the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2009, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee held a news conference in Abu Dhabi, featuring FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke, Chairman of the Organising Committee for the FIFA Club World Cup 2009 Chuck Blazer, and UAE FA President Mohammed Khalfan Al-Rumaithi.
Jerome Valcke on the reasons for moving the FIFA Club World Cup from Tokyo to the UAE
We also moved the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup from Rio to Marseille, and the tournament recently took place in Dubai. FIFA tournaments are not bound to a specific country. UAE submitted the best hosting bid, which is why we’re here today in Abu Dhabi. And now we know the decision to move this World Cup to the UAE was the right one.
Jerome Valcke on potentially hosting the FIFA Club World Cup in Europe
I don’t think Europe is ready to host the Club World Cup yet, because there are already too many matches there. Apart from the fact that the UAE bid was the best, we’re in any case convinced that interest in the tournament here and in other regions of the world is rather greater than it would be if we held it in Europe.
Chuck Blazer on the state of preparations for the FIFA Club World Cup
All FIFA departments and the Local Organising Committee have reported to us today. We’re extremely satisfied with the preparations and the conditions here locally. I’m really looking forward to the opening match, as the tournament promises to be a very special event. The winners will be declared the world champion club, and I’d like to place on record my congratulations to Mohammed Khalfan Al-Rumaithi and all the FIFA staff for the highly successful organisation.
Chuck Blazer on why the FIFA Club World Cup is such a special event
Every year, the leagues operated by FIFA member associations produce domestic champions. They meet to determine the champions of the various confederations. The FIFA Club World Cup then brings together the best clubs in the world. That’s something very special. This World Cup is unique. It's a tournament celebrating and promoting the best aspects of the game.
Chuck Blazer on FIFA’s requirements of tournament hosts
FIFA’s requirements and standards become more and more demanding with every passing year. You can’t compare today’s requirements with those of the past. The tournament here in Abu Dhabi is already setting new standards for next year’s Club World Cup, and for other FIFA tournaments in the future.
Mohammed Khalfan Al-Rumaithi on the likely makeup of the crowds
We’re expecting to welcome fans supporting all the competing teams. Supporters are coming to Abu Dhabi from Argentina, and also from Korea Republic and New Zealand. It’ll be interesting to see which club the local fans choose to support, alongside Al Ahli of course.
Mohammed Khalfan Al-Rumaithi on preparations for the FIFA Club World Cup
FIFA are satisfied with our preparations; we’ve actually exceeded their expectations. The stadiums are ready for the tournament, and ticket sales have gone very well. Both semi-finals and the final are already sold out. There are a few tickets left for the opening match. The clubs will give it their best shot on the field, and the fans will make it a great atmosphere in the stands. We’re looking forward to the tournament.