FIFA Football Club World Cup Japan 2007
ORGANISING COMMITTEE STRENGTHENS
FIFA CLUB WORLD CUP FORMAT
Under the chairmanship of Dr Viacheslav Koloskov (Russia), the Organising Committee for the FIFA Club World Cup met in Zurich on 13 August to confirm the format, match schedule and USD 16 million prize package for the 2007 event. The committee also announced that it would recommend to the FIFA Executive Committee that the 2008 Club World Cup should also take place in Japan.
The FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2007 will kick off its new seven-team, seven-match format on 7 December with a play¬off between a club representing the host association and the OFC club champions, and will conclude on 16 December with the final in Yokohama. Unlike previous tournaments, no play-off for fifth place will be played this year (see full match schedule below). Based on the success of previous tournaments, the 2007 event will again be played in three venues: the National Stadium in Tokyo (approximately 48,000 capacity), the Toyota Stadium (approximately 36,000 capacity) and the International Stadium in Yokohama (approximately 68,000 capacity).
The organising committee also decided to increase the prize money by USD
1 million for the 2007 event, putting a total of USD 16 million up for grabs in Japan. The champions will take home USD 5 million and the runners-up USD 4 million, while the teams finishing in third (USD 2.5 million), fourth (USD
2 million), joint fifth (both USD 1 million) and seventh places (USD 500,000) will all receive handsome pay-outs as well.
The following teams have already qualified for the Club World Cup 2007:
• CONCACAF – Pachuca CF (Mexico)
• CONMEBOL – Boca Juniors (Argentina)
• OFC – Waitakere United (New Zealand)
• UEFA-AC Milan (Italy)
The remaining three teams will be confirmed following the completion of the respective competitions:
• AFC – the two legs of the AFC Champions League final will be played on 7 and 14 November
• CAF – the two legs of the CAF Champions League final will be played between 26-27 October and 9-11 November
•Host nation – taking part as representatives of the host nation will be the 2007 J-League champions; the 2007 season comes to a close on 1 December
The organising committee also reconfirmed a number of principles to ensure the sporting aspects of the competition are upheld at all future FIFA Club World Cups. Firstly, the essence of the competition is always to be based upon the participation of the winners of all six confederations’ respective club championships. Secondly, a representative team from the host association shall have the opportunity to participate by contesting a play-off with the OFC champions in the opening match of the tournament.
Furthermore, no association will be entitled to have more than one team in the competition. Therefore, should a team from the host association win its respective confederation’s club championship, the highest-placed non-host association team from the confederation’s club championship will take the berth normally reserved for a club from the host association in that year’s FIFA Club World Cup.
Applying these principles to the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2007, should either of the two Japanese teams still participating in the AFC Champions League win the competition, the highest-placed non-Japanese club in the AFC Champions League will take the “host” berth and play in the opening play-off against the OFC champions. The same will apply if the same Japanese team were to win both the AFC Champions League and the J-League title.
The organising committee also discussed the host associations for the next two FIFA Club World Cups and decided to recommend to the FIFA Executive Committee that Japan should host the 2008 event and an open tender for the bidding process for the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup be launched in November 2007.