FIFA Chooses Jeddah as Host City for 2023 Club World Cup, Al-Ittihad’s Hometown Buzz Grows

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, June 27th, 2023: FIFA made an official announcement on Monday, revealing that the upcoming 2023 Club World Cup will be hosted in Jeddah, the home city of Al-Ittihad, the reigning champions of Saudi Arabia. Al-Ittihad recently garnered attention by signing Karim Benzema. The tournament, scheduled to take place from December 12 to 22, will be the final edition following this format before the introduction of a 32-team version in the United States in 2025.

FIFA has designated the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium and Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Stadium as the venues for the 2023 tournament, capable of accommodating approximately 62,000 and 27,000 spectators, respectively. Karim Benzema, aiming to defend the trophy he helped Real Madrid win in February, will strive to replicate his success by leading his team to triumph over Saudi club Al-Hilal in the final, which will be held in Morocco.

The tournament will kick off with a first-round match between Al-Ittihad and Auckland City, the reigning champion of Oceania. The winner will progress to the second round, joining León of Mexico, Al-Ahly of Egypt, and Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan.

Manchester City, the winner of the UEFA Champions League, and the South American champion will enter the competition at the semifinal stage, with the Copa Libertadores final set to take place on November 4.

For the expanded tournament in 2025, each continental champion from 2021 to 2024, excluding Oceania, will also earn direct qualification.

In February, FIFA selected Saudi Arabia as the host country for the 2023 Club World Cup as part of the kingdom’s ambitious efforts to leave a lasting impact on the global sports stage. Saudi Arabia is actively preparing to host the 2027 Asian Cup, and their participation in the bidding process for the men’s 2034 World Cup is highly anticipated, with expectations of them being a formidable contender.

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