Gianni Infantino praises hosts for” fantastic and successful tournament”
Manchester City crowned “world champion of football clubs” after lifting trophy at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium
Opening game crowd in Jeddah sets new FIFA Club World Cup™ record
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has congratulated FIFA Club World Cup 2023™ hosts Saudi Arabia for what he described as a “fantastic and successful tournament” after seeing Manchester City FC lift the trophy in Jeddah. City’s 4-0 victory over Fluminense FC at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium wrapped up the fifth FIFA competition ever held in Saudi Arabia, and a tournament the FIFA President said had brought the curtain down on the year in style.
“A great FIFA Club World Cup concludes with Manchester City being crowned the world champion of football clubs. Congratulations also to Fluminense FC and Al Ahly FC as well as to Rodri for winning the Golden Ball Award and to Al Ittihad for winning the FIFA Fair Play Award,” said the FIFA President. “Thank you very much to all the referees, fans, volunteers, participating teams, officials, stakeholders and hosts Saudi Arabia for delivering this fantastic and successful tournament to end 2023 on such a high.”
The seven-team tournament started with Auckland City FC, making a record-extending 11th appearance in the competition, facing Jeddah-based Saudi Pro League side Al Ittihad FC. The opportunity to see their local team, boasting international superstars Karim Benzema, Fabinho, and FIFA World Cup™ winner N’Golo Kanté, saw fans flock to the stadium, and set a new record attendance of 50,248 for the opening game of a FIFA Club World Cup™.
The total was surpassed for Al Ittihad’s 3-1 second-round defeat to Al Ahly with 56,111 attending the match at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium, one of two venues in Jeddah – along with the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Stadium – to stage matches in the competition. In total, over 300,000 tickets were sold for the 2023 tournament’s seven games, and allied with a crowd of 52,601 for the final, it reflects the passion of fans to see clubs from different confederations face each other in competitive matches.
In the build-up to the final, the FIFA President thanked the 400-strong volunteer force who had ensured the tournament ran smoothly, and joined the FIFA Legends in visiting a local hospital, bringing cheer and gifts to ill children. The FIFA President also added detail to the 11 strategic objectives he had initially outlined upon his re-election at the FIFA Congress in Kigali, Rwanda, nine months ago to the 211 FIFA Member Associations at the FIFA Football Summit 2023.
“I think it is an important moment to see where we are, where we are going, and what we want to achieve in the next [four] years,” said the FIFA President. “In the last four-year period, from 2019 to 2023, our motto was to make football truly global. To bring football to every corner of the world, and we have gone quite a way on that. “The motto, the slogan, the vision for the next four years is really to unite the world.”
FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the FIFA Club World Cup 2023 Final
FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Saudi Arabia Minster for Sport Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal