With the first action of the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2010 just 24 hours away, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee held a media conference in Abu Dhabi at which Jerome Valcke, Chuck Blazer, H.E. Mohammad Khalfan Al Rumaithi and H.E. Mohammad Ibrahim Al Mahmood all spoke about the upcoming tournament.
Jerome Valcke, FIFA Secretary General
On UAE 2010 and the future of the FIFA Club World Cup
The goal of the team working on this tournament is that it will be even better than 2009 and I’m sure it will have an influence on UAE bidding for the 2013 and 2014 [editions of the FIFA Club World Cup] after the tournament goes back to Japan. Last year it went very well here and that is why we are so happy to come back. We have some very good teams here and the level of media interest seems to be building each year. At FIFA this is the only club tournament and we are very happy with it. The format will stay as it is until 2014, then we will have a discussion and see what the future is. But there is no doubt that we want to keep this tournament alive and make sure it remains part of our competitions.
Chuck Blazer, Organising Committee Chairman
On returning to UAE
We had very good experience last year and are able to come back in the full knowledge of the warmth and hospitality we will receive. This year especially, the preparedness of the Organising Committee has been outstanding. All reports from our Organising Committee meeting have been positive and we expect some excellent matches. This is a sterling competition and one which shows some of the best that we can offer in this sport.
H.E. Mohammad Khalfan Al Rumaithi, UAE FA President and Chairman of the LOC
On staging the FIFA Club World Cup for a second successive year
The preparatory period has been very successful, and after many months of strenuous efforts, Abu Dhabi is ready to welcome the world again. We are very excited to be hosting this tournament again and hope we can achieve same success that we did in 2009. When we started work on this event, it was a very big challenge, but we have had activities launched lot of campaigns and initiatives to encourage people to support the wonderful game of football. I would like to thank FIFA for all the support given to us. We very much want to consolidate our relationship with FIFA and look forward to more co-operation in future.
H.E. Mohammad Ibrahim Al Mahmood, Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council
On his hopes for Al Wahda
The opening match will have a decisive impact on the performance of Al Wahda and we should not forget that they will meet the champions of the Oceanian continent. But we have prepared Al Wahda at the highest level and are looking forward with optimism to this encounter. We expect the team to reach the semi-finals.