With the ninth edition of the FIFA Club World Cup all set to go underway in Japan this week, Goal.com goes through the history of the Trophy and its passive interest amongst Indian audiences.
With FIFA Club World Championship being the name previously when it was held in 2000 and 2005, the tournament absorbed the Intercontinental Cup to form the FIFA Club World Cup in 2006. The first edition being held in 2006, the Club World Cup basically consists of teams from North America, Asia, Africa and the Oceanic region.
Considering that most Indian fans are unaware of the tournament structure and the teams participating, Goal.com here elaborates on everything that should be known about the Club World Cup. The tournament starts on the 6th December and will conclude on 12th December with the final being played at the Yokohama Stadium, venue of the 2002 FIFA World Cup final between Brazil and Germany.
Moving on to the teams that participate in this tournament, it basically includes the Champions from each of the continents. Starting with the host continent, the team from Asia are usually the AFC Champions League winners, Ulsan Hyundai this year.The champions of the host nation, Japan in this case, shall see Sanfrecce Hiroshima participating as well.
The tie between the host country’s representative (Sanfrecce Hiroshima) and the Oceanic region’s representative (Auckland City - Winners of O-League) decides the quarterfinal against African Champions (Al Ahly SC this year).
The AFC Champions League winners (Ulsan Hyundai) on the other hand will face CONCACAF Champions League winners FC Monterrey directly in the quarterfinals, the winner of who will face European Champions Chelsea FC (having reached the semifinals of the tournament directly by winning the UEFA Champions League)
|Chelsea will play in the semi-finals directly as a virtue of being European Champions|
Corinthians (Copa Libertadores Champions), the last participant of the tournament come through by winning the Champions League equivalent of South America, directly reaching the semi-finals along with Chelsea.
As far as the prize money is concerned, the champions of the Club World Cup rake in a cool 5 Million Euros in comparison to the UEFA Champions League winner who earn about 9 Million Euros by winning the final. These figures are what FIFA and UEFA announce as the prize money, but in addition to this, they also earn money from TV rights and other sponsors. Thereby, the overall earning by winning a UEFA Champions League is much more than by winning the Club World Cup, thereby giving a reason for top sides to field weakened teams in the competition.
Fans’ interests in the competition is not much considering that unfancied African, Asian and American sides are participating probably making it very easy for European sides to dominate them. Although Sport Clube Internacional did win it during the first year of the competition's inception, the European sides have been ruling the roost since 2007.