Organising Committee strengthens FIFA Club World Cup format
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Under the chairmanship of Dr Viacheslav Koloskov (Russia), the Organising Committee for the FIFA Club World Cup met in Zurich yesterday (13 August) to confirm the competition format, match schedule and USD 16 million prize package for the 2007 event. The Organising Committee also announced that it would recommend to the FIFA Executive Committee that the 2008 edition of the event should take place in Japan.

The FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2007 will kick off its new seven-team, seven-match competition format on 7 December with a play-off between a host association representative and the OFC club champion, and will conclude on 16 December with the final in Yokohama. Unlike previous tournaments, no match for fifth place will be played (see full match schedule below). Based on the success of previous tournaments, the 2007 event will again be played in three venues: National Stadium in Tokyo (approximately 48,000 seats), Toyota Stadium (approximately 36,000 seats) and International Stadium Yokohama (approximately 68,000 seats).

The Organising Committee also decided to increase the prize money by USD 1 million for the 2007 event, putting a total of USD 16 million up for grabs in Japan. The champion will take home USD 5 million, the runner-up will net USD 4 million, and 3rd place (USD 2.5 million), 4th place (USD 2 million), the two 5th-placed teams (USD 1 million) and 7th place (USD 500,000) will all receive handsome payouts as well.

The following teams have already qualified for the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2007:

  • CONCACAF - Pachuca CF (Mexico)
  • CONMEBOL - Boca Juniors (Argentina)
  • OFC - Waitakere United (New Zealand)
  • UEFA - AC Milan (Italy)

The remaining three teams will be confirmed following the completion of the respective competitions:

  • AFC - the two legs of the AFC Champions League final will be played on 7 and 14 November
  • CAF - the two legs of the CAF Champions League final will be played between 26-27 October and 9-11 November
  • Host - the host qualification tournament will be the 2007 J.League season, which comes to a close on 1 December

The Organising Committee also reconfirmed a number of principles to ensure the sporting aspects of the competition are upheld at all future editions of the FIFA Club World Cup. Firstly, the foundation of the competition is always to be based upon the participation of the winners of all six confederations' respective club championships. Secondly, a representative team from the host association shall also participate via a play-off against the OFC champion in the opening match of the tournament. Furthermore, no association may have more than one team in the competition. Therefore, should a team from the host association win its respective confederation's club championship, the highest-placed non-host association team from the confederation's club championship will qualify in the 'host' berth for that year's FIFA Club World Cup.

In application of these principles to the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2007, should either of the two Japanese teams still participating in the AFC Champions League win the competition, the highest-placed non-Japanese club from the AFC Champions League would qualify in the 'host' berth and play in the opening play-off against the OFC champion. The same procedure would apply if the Japanese team in question were to win both the AFC Champions League and the J.League title.

In addition, to ensure that no confederation has more than one team in the semi-final stage of the FIFA Club World Cup, the AFC champion will play the winner of the opening play-off match (host v. OFC). As a result, the CAF and CONCACAF representatives will automatically meet in match 2 of the competition.

The Organising Committee also discussed the host associations for the next two editions of the competition. The committee decided to recommend to the FIFA Executive Committee that Japan should host the 2008 event and an open tender for the bidding process for the 2009 edition of the FIFA Club World Cup should be launched in November 2007.

The Organising Committee also approved the ticketing plans for the competition, details of which will be released in the coming weeks.


Match Schedule for the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2007

7.12 (Fri) 1 Host ( tbd) v. OFC ( Waitakere United) -> W1
8.12 (Sat) rest day
9.12 (Sun) 2 CAF ( tbd) v. CONCACAF ( Pachuca CF) -> W2
10.12 (Mon) 3 W1 v. AFC ( tbd) -> W3
11.12 (Tue) rest day
12.12 (Wed) 4 W2 v. CONMEBOL ( Boca Juniors) -> W4 / L4
13.12 (Thu) 5 W3 v. UEFA ( AC Milan) -> W5 / L5
14.12 (Fri) rest day
15.12 (Sat) rest day
16.12 (Sun) 6 L4 v. L5 - Play-off for 3 rd Place
Double Header 7 W4 v. W5 - Final