Auckland City have been drawn to play Major Soccer League side Seattle Sounders if they win their opening game at the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco.
Moroccan football great Noureddine Naybet drew the Sounders from the ball used in FIFA’s tournament draw in Rabat, witnessed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino, ensuring they will play the winners of the tournament’s opening match between Auckland and Egyptian club Al Ahly.
Main photo: Naybet produces the Seattle Sounders name during the draw. Photo: FIFA.
The draw produced the schedule for the February tournament, including kick-off times and venues.
It confirmed that Auckland City’s first game will be staged at the Tangier Stadium, kicking off at 8am on Thursday February 2 (NZT).
The loser of that game exits the tournament while the winner faces Seattle at 6.30am on Sunday February 5 (NZT).
The winner of that match will face Real Madrid in the semi-final.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino thanked Morocco – hosts of the tournament for a third time – and stoked excitement as the countdown continues to discover which side will lift the trophy.
“Congratulations and thank you to Morocco for hosting the champions of all the continents for what will be a very important edition of the FIFA Club World Cup in February,” he said.
“When the champions of all the continents meet to crown the champion of the planet, the champion of the world, this is a special occasion, and this will take place in a very special country, in a great football environment.
“We’re looking very much forward to [coming] to Rabat and to Tangier, to visit an entire country, and to cheer for the champions of all the continents and see who finally will be crowned champion of the world.”
The opening game would be between CAF Champions League runners-up (2021/22) Al Ahly and Auckland City, holders of the OFC Champions League; the winners of which will take on Seattle Sounders.
The host association representatives, CAF Champions League winners Wydad, will meet Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia in the second round of the FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2022™, while four-time winners Real Madrid have a semi-final against Seattle Sounders, Al Ahly or Auckland City to navigate.
On the other side of the draw, Flamengo’s last-four opponents will be Wydad or Al Hilal.