FIFA Club World Cup™ in Japan, not China


FIFA Club World Cup 2021 to be held in Japan Image: FIFA &

The FIFA Club World Cup™ expansion has been delayed and the 2021 chapter of the fixture will now be held in Japan. This announcement was made by the highest governing body of football recently.

The FIFA Club World Cup™ is an international men’s association football competition organized by FIFA, the sport’s global governing body. The competition was first contested in the year 2000 as the FIFA Club World Championship.

Initially, an expanded competition was planned for China and was scheduled to take place in June and July 2021, in the slot previously reserved for the FIFA Confederations Cup international competition, which usually takes place the year before the Men’s World Cup. But the FIFA Council has now decided to change hosts and hold the event later in the year, while also retaining the existing seven-team format.

The FIFA Confederations Cup was an international football tournament with eight national teams held every four years. The competition was held between holders of each of the FIFA confederation championships – Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL), Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), Confederation of African Football (CAF), Asian Football Confederation (AFC), and the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) – together with the FIFA World Cup™ holder and the host nation.

In March 2019, FIFA confirmed that the tournament would no longer be staged, with its slot replaced by an expansion of the FIFA Club World Cup™ in 2021, as well as the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup as a prelude to the 2022 FIFA World Cup™.

This follows the news in November that the 2020 edition of the tournament in Qatar had been moved from December 2020 to the start of February next year as COVID-19 continues to leave behind a trail of deaths as well as sufferings the world over.

No information has been given on whether fans would be able to attend the first event in February, with FIFA only maintaining that “the host country will provide the required safeguards for the health and safety of all involved”.

Maternity leave pay

The FIFA Council has also given its go-ahead to reforms that protect female footballers’ rights and will make it mandatory for them to receive maternity leave pay.

The governing body for football consulted with stakeholders to establish a new global set of minimum standards for female players which focus on maternity leave in particular.

As per the minimum standards, every female player will be entitled to maternity leave of a minimum of 14 weeks’ absence – and at least eight weeks after birth – during the terms of their playing contracts at the paid equivalent of two-thirds of their salaries. FIFA stated that member associations were welcome to offer higher protection above these minimum requirements.

The new standards also contain guidance on obligations to reintegrate female players following maternity leave, registration of players to cover an absence because of maternity and health cover for players during pregnancy.


Finally, FIFA has made an amendment to its rules governing the transfer of minors to acknowledge the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (Brexit). The governing body said the amendment would prevent situations in which minors would be unable to transfer within the same State. This amendment will apply generally to all situations where there is more than one association in the territory of a country, and it will allow the transfer of players in the age bracket 16-18 between those associations.

Virtual version

FIFA has informed that the 71st FIFA Congress, which was due to take place in May in Tokyo next year, will instead be held as an online event on May 21st, 2021, keeping in mind the coronavirus thumping the world over.

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