Football fans in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that hold Visa cards are now able to purchase tickets for the country’s postponed FIFA Club World Cup through an exclusive pre-sale process.
Visa cardholders are able to purchase tickets for the event until January 7, with tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis. Any remaining tickets will then be sold following the closure of the Visa pre-sale.
The postponed 2021 event is due to take place from February 3-12 in the UAE, which is hosting the tournament for the fifth time. The FIFA Club World Cup has also been held in the UAE in 2009, 2010, 2017 and 2018.
The 8 matches will be played across two venues – the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium (pictured) and Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
The event was supposed to take place in Japan, but the Japan Football Association (JFA) withdrew from hosting duties, citing concerns over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
There are seven teams taking part in the competition with Al Jazira as the host club due to the side’s UAE Pro League win.
English Premier League side Chelsea has qualified for the Club World Cup as the current UEFA Champions League cup holders, while Tahiti’s AS Pirae is replacing Auckland City as the Oceania representative, after the side announced it was withdrawing due to New Zealand’s quarantine issues.
Monterrey will represent Mexico after winning the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League and Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal are representing Asia as the current AFC Champions League winners. Al Ahly Sporting Club in Egypt represents Africa as the team is the most recent winner of the CAF Champions League.
Brazil’s Palmeiras was the last team to qualify after the club won the Copa Libertadores.
Neighbouring country Qatar is also bringing global football to the Middle East, and will hold the 2022 FIFA World Cup in December. Tickets are due to go on sale later this month.
The host nation is aiming to attract 1.2 million people to the World Cup, but booking hotel accommodation could become an issue.
According to the I, most rooms have been block-booked by World Cup organisers to ensure availability for teams, FIFA officials, sponsors and media.