FIFA Club World Cup returns to UAE

FIFA Club World Cup returns to UAE
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Published December 19th, 2016 - 16:13 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Real Madrid players pose with their trophy after winning the Club World Cup football final match against Kashima Antlers of Japan at Yokohama International stadium in Yokohama on December 18, 2016.
Behrouz MEHRI / AFP
Real Madrid players pose with their trophy after winning the Club World Cup football final match against Kashima Antlers of Japan at Yokohama International stadium in Yokohama on December 18, 2016. Behrouz MEHRI / AFP

In a symbolic hand-over, the FIFA Club World Cup has been passed from Japan to the United Arab Emirates.

The ceremony took place moments before the final match of the event, FIFA Deputy Secretary-General of Football, Zvonimir Boban, FIFA Chief Competitions and Events Officer, Colin Smith, and Japan Football Association President, Kohzo Tashima, symbolically exchanged a jersey with Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, and Mohammed bin Hazzam Al Dhaheri, General Secretary of the UAE Football Association.

The ceremony ushers in the return of the Club World Cup to the UAE for 2017 and 2018. The UAE was host of the tournament in 2009 and 2010 when thousands of fans filled stadia to watch world-class football.

The ceremony took place inside the iconic International Stadium Yokohama prior to the final between Japan’s Kashima Antlers and European Champions Real Madrid, in front of a crowd of excited fans.

"The Championship in Japan has showcased the warmth of its people and demonstrated their passion for football. I would like to thank FIFA for the opportunity to host the Club World Cup in 2017 and 2018. We are bolstered by their confidence based on the past success of the Championships held in our great nation. This is a tremendous honour, which the UAE, with its deep rooted love of football and sport, will execute flawlessly," said Aref Alawani.

The hand-over today signals the start of one of the most exciting periods of football in the region.

"We remain single-minded in our commitment to bringing world-class sports events to Abu Dhabi and Al Ain and making the UAE an epicenter of sporting events," added Alawani.

"The UAE welcomes fans to the Club World Cup in 2017 with our traditional Arabic hospitality, state-of-the-art infrastructure and stadia, with world-class travel and leisure options," concluded Alawani.

Mohammed bin Hazzam Al Dhaheri expressed his happiness and pride in hosting the Club World Cup for 2017/2018 in Abu Dhabi, saying that this indicates the evolution of the UAE in hosting prestigious international sports events, and pointing out the Abu Dhabi vision to be the capital of world sport,with all of these achievements due to the unlimited support by the wise leadership in the sport sector. He praised the strategic partnership between the UAE Football Association and Abu Dhabi Sports Council in organising global events

© Copyright 2016 Emirates News Agency (WAM)

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