Club World Cup Qatar
Updated: Jun 23, 2021
The Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 is quickly approaching, and Qatar will be the first nation in the Middle East to host this grand football/soccer tournament. In preparation for the World Cup, Qatar was set to host the 2019 and 2020 Club World Cup.
The 2019 Fifa Club World Cup was a great success and an excellent dry run for what we can expect for the World Cup. The tournament ran from December 11 – December 21, 2019 in the nation’s capital, Doha. My friend and I had the pleasure to attend nearly every game of the tournament and it was an experience of a lifetime! This was our holiday gift to ourselves – needless to say we went all out. We got to experience the various stadiums that will hold the World Cup matches which displayed innovative technologies and top-class services. Walking into the Khalifa International Stadium felt like being at a 5-star hotel, where there were people to assist your every need, and ushers at every section. I’ve been to football matches where I missed the first several minutes of the game because it took me so long to find my seat so this was definitely a nice treat.
To get to the matches we used the newly established metro system. I’ve done a fair amount of traveling and I can confidently say that this metro system is very easy to use and gets you anywhere you’d like to be in Doha. The stadiums were clearly identified for the Club World Cup on the map routes which was a great bonus. Some of my fondest memories of attending the tournament were actually the metro rides (which were free on match day to stadium and back) to and from the games as they were mainly filled with tourists and supporters, cheering on their favourite clubs. It was a party on the metro. We met some Flamengo supporters that agreed to swap their team scarves with us (we had Liverpool scarves). There is nothing like football fans; we get one another and are here for a great time!
The tournament lasted 10 days and in between the matches there were Fan Zones set up just outside of Doha for fans to enjoy. To the shock of many, there was alcohol available at the fan zones, hotels, and popular restaurants. Despite Qatar being a Muslim country, you can enjoy a cold beer while taking in all of the football. We also toured around some of the museums and checked out Qatar’s sports facilities. The attention to detail everywhere is incredible. I am no stranger to traveling to the Middle East, but there is no place like Doha. I don’t know what I was expecting before attending the Club World Cup, but I can say that I was not disappointed with anything.
The 2019 Club World Cup ended with Liverpool being crowned champions and the energy in the stadium is exactly what you would feel at any championship finale: loud, energetic, excitement, (disappointment from the opposing team), and chaos. We were shocked to see that Liverpool would not be defending its title at the 2020 Club World Cup, which instead will feature Bayern Munich. The tournament was supposed to run in December 2020, but due to COVID-19 it has since been pushed to February 1 – 11 2021. Once again due to COVID-19 we were supposed to see kick off today (February 1st), but due to flying and travel restrictions, the team representing Oceania, Auckland City FC, had to drop out. The first official Club World Cup game will be on February 4th with 2 games: Tigres UANL vs Ulsan and Al-Duhail vs Al Ahly.
I am sad to say that this tournament is only open to locals which is understandable considering we are still in the midst of the pandemic. I’m sure that fans from across the world would have loved to experience the Club World Cup in Doha the way we did over a year ago. I do hope that everything will be done between now and 2022 so that we can experience the World Cup in all of its glory. I WILL be there no matter what it takes!
Good luck to the teams competing at this Club World Cup. I’m sorry that Liverpool will soon be giving up its title… maybe next year!
Written by Paul
Paul is from England and works as a football statistician. This was his first time in Qatar, but he promises to be back for the World Cup in 2022.