Football enthusiasts, you’re about to get a taste of the legendary sporting event due to take place in Qatar in 2022. This month, the champions of six continents will lock horns in the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019. This is the 16th edition of the FIFA-organised international club football tournament and will serve as a test event for host country Qatar, ahead of the 2022 FIFA
The event may be hosted right here, but that’s not the only reason to be excited about it. Qatar Stars League winners Al Sadd, one of the six competing teams, will take their place vying to be crowned world champions in this star-studded event featuring some of the world’s most popular football players.
The strong favourites for the competition, Liverpool FC, will be representing Europe. Six-time winners of the European Cup and one of the most famous and successful clubs in world football, this will be the team to beat. Having lost the final of this competition in 2005, they’ll want to win it for the first time. The list of star players is endless at Liverpool but the crowds will also be cheering on Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firminho, to name but a few.
For the South American champions, River Plate will be their main contenders. Both the European and South American champions will receive a free pass into the semi-finals.
Esperance of Tunisia are celebrating their 100th birthday this year and the World Club Cup would be a great present. They are one of the biggest teams in African football, having won the African Champions League four times. Watch out for their tricky winger Anice Badri and the experienced striker Taha Yassine Khenissi. Esperance will play either Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan or Al Hilal.
Qatari champions Al Sadd boast some of the stars from Qatar’s Asian Cup campaign and will be a tough match-up for anyone with their home support. Al Ain beat the South American champions last year, so it’s entirely possible a Qatari team will grace the final. They’ll have to overcome Oceania champions Hienghène Sport, as well as North American champions Monterrey of Mexico. If Al Sadd do progress in the competition, expect their champion Algerian striker Baghdad Bounedjah and Qatari superstar Akram Afif in midfield to pull the strings.
When and where
The competition kicks off on December 11 with Al Sadd playing Oceania champions Hienghène Sport from New Caledonia. If they win this game, they’ll play Monterrey of Mexico on December 14 with a special gift on Qatar’s National Day of playing Liverpool in the semi-finals on December 18. The grand final will take place on December 21.
The tournament in Doha takes place across three venues. Al Sadd will play their first game at home in the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium. Al Sadd’s home stadium has also hosted the 2016 Supercoppa Italiana. Other games will take place at the Khalifa International Stadium in Aspire complex and the final will take place in front of 40,000 fans in the brand new Education City Stadium.
Tickets for some games might be sold out close to the match dates but if you’re lucky, you can still grab a last-minute ticket or three. Tickets are priced starting at QR25 for a Category 3 seat and go up to QR400 for a Category 1 seat for the finals.
From QR25. Dec 11-21, timings vary. Education City Stadium, Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium and Khalifa International Stadium. Tickets: fifa.com/clubworldcup/.
Prize money for the winners
Most wins by a single club (Real Madrid)
Goals by the top scorer in the competition (Cristiano Ronaldo)
Most games played by any team in the tournament (Auckland City FC)
Three to try
Catch all the sporting action
Soak up the match atmosphere
at these top sport bars where football fans will be cheering on theirfavourite teams.
Watching live football at Boston’s is a great idea because you can enjoy happy hours during selected live matches on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.
City Centre Rotana Doha, West Bay (4445 8888).
With multiple large screens and a power hour with deals on drinks. Champions is a top option to catch sporting action. Every Saturday between 11am and 1am, cheer on your favourite team across 47 screens and enjoy discounted prices on drinks.
Marriott Marquis City Centre Hotel Doha, West Bay (4419 5000).
Enjoy some top pub grub and get 20 percent discount on drinks any day of the week between 5pm and 9pm while watching your favourite matches.
Radisson Blu Hotel Doha, C Ring Road (4428 1555).