The Official Draw was held on Monday in the UAE capital and host city, Abu Dhabi.
FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) unveiled the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 contenders competing in the world’s biggest club football tournament from December 6-16 in Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City and Al Ain’s Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium.
This December, all eyes will be on Abu Dhabi as millions around the world will be following the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017.
As the host city ramps up preparations for the 14th edition of the event the LOC is looking forward to welcoming heroes of the game as they vie for the most sought-after club in December.
H.E. Major-General Mohammed Khalfan Al Romaithi, Chairman of the Higher LOC commented, during his welcoming speech, said: “We are honoured that the UAE once again is hosting this world-renowned tournament – eight years after hosting it in 2009 and 2010. This tournament will be an extraordinary celebration of professional football, international talent and best in class skill, showcasing the great facilities, hospitality and unique culture our nation offers as a world-class sporting destination.
“As the number one sport in the world, football has the power to unite communities. Football continues to inspire our nation’s journey and we welcome the clubs and fans to the UAE this December for the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017,” added Al Romaithi.
“The tournament is set to be a thrilling occasion and the draw has seen some very entertaining games to be played in both Abu Dhabi and Al Ain,” said His Excellency Aref Hamad Al Awani, Tournament Director of the Local Organising Committee. “We are excited that the UAE has the opportunity to host such a prestigious tournament and we encourage fans to buy tickets at their earliest convenience.”
To this date four teams have qualified for this year’s edition of the competition: Auckland City FC of New Zealand (OFC Champions League winners), C.F. Pachuca of Mexico (CONCACAF Champions League winners), Real Madrid C.F. of Spain (UEFA Champions League winners) and UAE’s host team and Arabian Gulf League winner, Al Jazira FC. The winners of this year’s AFC Champions League, Copa Libertadores and CAF Champions League will be determined in November.
“I would like to thank the Abu Dhabi Sports Council for inviting me today. I am proud to have been selected as a Draw Assistant and we are blessed to host this tournament,” said draw assistant, Abdulrahim Jumaa.
“People can expect a lot from the tournament being hosted in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. I am sure fans will enjoy the tournament and love the UAE,” Jumaa added.
Commenting on the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017, former Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre said: “It is a great opportunity for football fans to witness some of the best football talent in the world. All of the teams participating are champions. It is high quality and the fans are really in for a treat.”
With more than half of the competitors set for the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 already eagerly awaiting their trip to the UAE in December, the next step on the road is the official tournament draw.
Taking place in Abu Dhabi at 12.00pm local time on Monday October 9, the draw will be streamed live on FIFA.com.
While Al Jazira Club and Auckland City FC already know they will be kicking off the seven-team competition, who the victor will meet next and the path to glory at large is set to be decided.
THE DRAW PROCESS
The opening match will be played between the aforementioned UAE champions and OFC Champions League winners.
For the second round (Matches 2 and 3) the winner will join FC Pachuca, the first-round winner, the AFC and CAF Champions League representatives in being randomly drawn as teams A, B, C and D.
Team A will face Team B, with Team C playing Team D. Both matches will be played in Abu Dhabi on 8 December.
In the semi-finals, Real Madrid CF and the Copa Libertadores winners will see their names pulled out of the hat against either the Match 2 or Match 3 winners, laying out the route to the trophy.
Beaten sides in each round will face off to contest fifth and third place respectively, with the latter match setting the stage perfectly for the final itself. The winner, earning the title of a FIFA World Champion, will be decided on December 16 in Abu Dhabi.
Blessed relief for Al Jazira. Okay, so it may only be the Arabian Gulf Cup – UAE football’s third most important competition – but three points of any kind are welcome at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium right now.
Just a second win in five games in all competitions this season was secured against the old enemy of Al Ain last night – the returning Romarinho back from his dalliance with Doha airport officials to set up Salem Al Eedi’s winner.
It was the Pride of Abu Dhabi’s first win since the opening day of the Arabian Gulf League season 22 days ago and both the result and performance restored a bit of pride that has certainly been missing in the early weeks of the campaign.
Henk ten Cate’s side have looked a shadow of the side that stormed to the league title last term but this victory – despite the competition – should instil confidence going forward.
Jazira’s two-game losing streak was gratefully halted – but they were fortuitously gifted the opening goal. Livewire young forward Ahmed Rabeya had earlier shrugged off UAE stalwart Mohanad Salem before stinging the palms of Mohamed Busanda and then wasted a glorious chance when he slid in to meet Mohamed Fawzi’s inviting centre, only to prod wide.
But the talented 22-year- old profited at the third attempt when he beat Busanda to another quality Fawzi delivery and nodded in – although replays suggested the goal was fortunate to be awarded bythe assistant referee as Mohamed Khalfan appeared to clear before the whole ball crossed the line.
Ismail Ahmed had earlier crashed a header against the Jazira crossbar and Ali Khaseif saved smartly from Yousef Ahmed as the visitors began brightly.
The hosts settled eventually and Ali Mabkhout could have doubled the lead before the break but dragged two shots just wide.
The Boss deservedly dragged themselves level six minutes into the second half. Douglas, much derided last season, enjoyed the sound of the vociferous away support chanting his name after he won his side a penalty. The Brazilian initially miss-controlled the pass into him but doggedly chased down Salem Rashid who swiped at thin air and brought him down after the forward nicked the ball away from him. Compatriot Caio calmly slotted in the spot kick to bring the Boss level.
With the way they’ve been playing in recent weeks, Ten Cate may have worried his Jazira side would withdraw but they pushed on and Mabkhout wasted a counter-attack when he went for goal himself and shot wide when Salem Abdulla was free inside the box.
It mattered little as Romarinho emerged from the bench to instantly impact proceedings. The summer arrival had been detained at Doha’s Hamad International Airport after returning to settle a pay dispute with former employers El Jaish on Tuesday – but he winged in to tee up impressive fellow replacement Salem Al Eedi who prodded into the roof of the net to restore Jazira’s lead.
Khaseif punched clear from Douglas’ header late on as the hosts held on, but Ten Cate’s side were worthy winners as they finally produced a performance akin to something resembling champions.