JOHANNESBURG, May 19, 2011 - AFP
May 19, 2011 – AFP
Another chapter in the football boardroom battles between South Africa and Morocco is looming with both countries wanting to host the 2013 and 2014 FIFA Club World Cup.
Iran and the United Arab Emirates, who staged the last two editions of the annual end-of-year tournament, are the other challengers to follow 2011 and 2012 hosts Japan.
“It is important that competitions like the Club World Cup come to Africa,” stressed South Africa Football Association vice-president Danny Jordaan in the wake of his country successfully staging the 2010 World Cup.
The four aspirant hosts must submit a definitive bid by the end of September and the successful candidate will be named on October 21 after a meeting of executives from world football governing body FIFA.
A Club World Cup has seven fixtures with a play-off involving the host nation champions followed by two quarter-finals and the South American and European champions enter at the semi-finals stage.
South Africa have an embarrassment of venue riches with 10 World Cup venues to choose from while Morocco have been busy expanding the number of stadia and upgrading others ahead of hosting the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
The boardroom battles between South Africa and Morocco began a decade ago when they emerged as the heavyweight contenders in an Africa-only contest to put on the 2010 World Cup.
Africa had never hosted the most watched sport event in the world and after the controversial 12-11 defeat of South Africa by Germany for the 2006 rights, FIFA decided the next tournament must be on the ‘dark continent’.
South Africa defeated Morocco 14-10 while Egypt did not receive a single vote and — freezing evening conditions in some locations apart — Africa put on a near-flawless spectacle despite a deluge of pre-tournament media pessimism.
The countries from the south west and north west of the continent came face to face again this year as they sought hosting rights to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
Morocco won this time after a meeting of African governing body CAF in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa received the consolation prize of being awarded the right to stage the 2017 Cup of Nations.
Africa would appear to have a strong case in the Club World Cup contest as by the end of next year, Japan will have staged the tournament six times and the UAE twice with Brazil (2000) the sole non-Asian host.
Club World Cup champions include Corinthians, Internacional and Sao Paulo of Brazil, Inter Milan and AC Milan of Italy, Barcelona of Spain and Manchester United of England.