ABU DHABI, 5th August, 2018 (WAM) -- The Emirate of Abu Dhabi’s fourth hosting of the FIFA Club World Cup UAE in December will further amplify the country’s international credentials for supporting world-class sporting events, according to Major General Mohammed Khalfan Al Romaithi, General Commander of Abu Dhabi Police, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Sports Council Board of Directors and the Head of the Higher Local Organising Committee of the FIFA Club World Cup.
Having hosted the tournament in 2009, 2010 and 2017, Al Ain and Abu Dhabi will again join forces between 12th-22nd December to host eight matches featuring the continental club champions from six FIFA confederations - Europe (UEFA), Oceania (OFC), Africa (CAF), Asia (AFC), South America (CONMEBOL) and North and Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF) – and host team Al Ain FC in an 11-day tournament to crown the club champions of the world..
With the accumulated knowledge and experience from hosting three previous FIFA Club World Cups, Al Romaithi believes the 2018 event is poised to elevate the country’s global sporting credentials to the next level.
"The FIFA Club World Cup is now intrinsically linked to Abu Dhabi since the emirate has hosted three previous editions and we’ve done a good job as far as FIFA, sponsors, teams and fans are concerned. All of the feedback from previous years has been overwhelmingly positive," Al Romaithi said, who is excited to see three-in-a-row UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid return to the UAE.
"For our fourth hosting in December, the European representative will be Real Madrid. This club is a global institution and they have a wonderful team – they will bring a lot of fans from Spain and be of huge interest locally and regionally."
With the tournament representatives from Africa, Asia and South America due to be finalised in coming months, Al Romaithi is eager for qualifiers to resonate with population patterns in the UAE.
"Personally, I would love to see a really popular team from Africa - perhaps an Egyptian team – because it would really boost attendances in specific matches at the start of the tournament. In terms of Asia, we’re hoping for a confederation champion that corresponds with a large community living in Abu Dhabi. This is key to maximising attendance from fans living in the UAE," he added.
Ahead of a FIFA delegation visiting the country in September to assess key tournament infrastructure such as stadiums and training pitches, Al Romaithi insists the local organisation team is ahead of the game.