(Reuters) – Tahiti’s AS Pirae will play at the Club World Cup subsequent yr after Auckland City withdrew due to the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine measures required by the New Zealand authorities, world soccer governing physique FIFA stated on Friday.
Auckland City additionally had to pull out of final yr’s version in Qatar due to COVID-19 border restrictions in New Zealand.
“… Auckland City FC had to reluctantly withdraw from the event. As a end result, AS Pirae have now been nominated because the Oceania Football Confederation’s consultant for the FIFA Club World Cup,” FIFA stated in an announcement.
Pirae will be part of European champions Chelsea, Copa Libertadores holders Palmeiras, AFC Champions League winners Al Hilal, African Champions League holders Al Ahly, CONCACAF Champions League winners Monterrey and UAE Pro League facet Al Jazira at the event.
AS Pirae will play Al Jazira within the first spherical for the best to meet Al Hilal within the second spherical, with the winners of that match dealing with Chelsea within the semi-finals.
In the opposite semi, Palmeiras will play the winners of the sport between Al Ahly and Monterrey.
The Club World Cup will happen from Feb. 3-12 subsequent yr within the United Arab Emirates.
(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)