ANKARA – The 2022 FIFA Club World Cup will start today in Morocco.
The Club World Cup features the winners of six continental confederations, including defending UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid and the host nation’s champions, Anadolu Agency reported.
The football contest will run through Feb 11 and the matches will be played in Rabat and Tangier.
The first match between Egypt’s Al Ahly and Auckland City of New Zealand will kick off at 1900GMT in Tangier.
The winning team of the first stage, either Al Ahly or Auckland City, will face US club Seattle Sounders in a second-round match on Saturday, it reported.
Wydad Athletic Club (Morocco) will take on Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia) in the second round on the same day.
Wydad won both the Moroccan league and CAF Champions League in 2022 to qualify automatically for the Club World Cup, which means CAF Champions League finalists Al Ahly took the host Morocco’s slot.
Reigning Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores champions Flamengo (Brazil) and UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid (Spain) will join the Club World Cup in the semifinal phase.
The semifinals will be held on Feb 7 and 8.
The tournament will conclude with the final on Feb. 11.
Real Madrid qualified for the Club World Cup for a sixth time, winning the title in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
England’s Chelsea were the 2021 Club World Cup champions, but they cannot defend their title in Morocco. – Bernama