Auckland City get chance to take on European champions Chelsea

Top New Zealand club Auckland City have the chance to face European champions Chelsea in February.

This follows the draw for the FIFA Club World Cup tournament to be played in the United Arab Emirates between February 3-12 next year.

In the opening game of the tournament, Oceania Confederation champions City will play UAE Pro League side Al Jazira.

If City win that sudden-death game, they’ll meet AFC Champions League winners Al Hilal.

The winners of that game go into a semi-final against English club Chelsea.

In the other semi, Copa Libertadores holders Palmeiras will face the winners of the game between African Champions League winners Al Ahly and CONCACAF Champions League winners Monterrey.

Last year, FIFA chose Japan to host a traditional seven-club tournament after an expanded 24-team event originally set for China in June 2021 was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the COVID-19 situation in Japan prompted the country to withdraw as hosts.

FIFA shifted the event to the United Arab Emirates, which has previously staged the tournament in 2009, 2010, 2017 and 2018.

The annual event brings together champions from the world’s six confederations plus the host nation’s league winners.

Past success

In 2014, Auckland City came third at the FIFA Club World Cup tournament in Morocco.

Click on the following link to read Friends of Football’s special publication to recognise City’s achievement: