With the climax of the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2010 fast approaching, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee have held a media conference in Abu Dhabi at which Jerome Valcke, Chuck Blazer and H.E. Mohammad Khalfan Al Rumaithi all gave their views on the tournament so far.
Chuck Blazer, Local Organising Committee Chairman
General remarks on the tournament
First of all, I think it’s worth taking note that this has been a historic Club World Cup, in that it has seen a club from outside Europe and South America reach the final for the first time. I don’t want to underestimate the importance of this because we have long looked forward to a final involving a team from outside the traditional big two, and we are very pleased this has been realised here. Congratulations go to TP Mazembe for achieving that place in history. I think you’ll agree that they have brought a lot of style to the tournament and certainly a lot of musical flair. They have also produced football that has distinguished themselves as worthy of the final.
On possible changes to the FIFA Club World Cup format
You have to remember that we came from a tournament which amounted to a one-game knockout, opened it up to other continents with a format that works and was agreed in respect of the league systems in South America and Europe. This format works well and we will be continuing on that basis.
On what grade he would give the tournament
I believe in giving good grades for good work, and UAE already has one of the letters in its name: an ‘A’. The tournament has been very smooth and we have also seen improvements from last year, with the hosts using their experience from 2009 to take out any little bumps in the road. It has been an excellently organised tournament.
H.E. Mohammad Khalfan Al Rumaithi, UAE FA President and Chairman of the LOC
General remarks on the tournament
This has been a very successful event and a very good competition from the very beginning. I’m especially pleased about the participation levels among spectators - it has been very satisfying to witness fans turning up in great numbers, and not only in matches involving Al Wahda. Fans from all around the world have come here to Abu Dhabi and all have enjoyed the weather as well as watching these great football matches and experiencing the unique atmosphere. Everything so far has been very satisfying – we have reached the level that we all sought and this competition has taken football in UAE to new heights. We thank FIFA for the chance to host this great event for past two years, and wish Japan the best of luck for 2011 and 2012.
On bidding for future FIFA tournaments
We would like to have this tournament back in 2013 and we are also hoping to host a FIFA youth event (bids have been submitted for the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2013, FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2014 and FIFA U-20 World Cup 2015). Lots of countries will be involved in the bidding process, but we hope that FIFA will look favourably on our bids.
Jerome Valcke, FIFA Secretary General
On the possibility of Qatar involving other nations from the region in hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup™
With this issue, it’s the same as Franz Beckenbauer talking about playing the competition in January instead of June – these questions have to be raised at [FIFA] Executive Committee level, and so far that hasn’t happened. It’s up to Qatar to first say that they have that wish – it has to come from them. If any request does come, it will go before the Executive Committee. But at the moment there is no such request.