Sat, 23 Oct 2021

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes confirmed on Tuesday that the Brazilian city has expressed formal interest in hosting this year's FIFA Club World Cup.

In a video broadcast live on social media, Paes said he decided to act after Japan gave up its right to stage the tournament because of coronavirus concerns.

"We're working on it. It's Rio's wish. I'm talking to the CBF (Brazilian Football Confederation) and with other officials to see what we can do," Paes said.

"[We] have some connections, contacts with FIFA. It's not simple. It seems that there is a predilection to stage the final in Asia. It must have something to do with private sponsors. I'm not an expert on the subject but we are trying to make it happen."

The annual tournament is this year scheduled to run from December 9 to December 19. Last week, Rio's finance and planning secretary Pedro Paulo said matches could be played at both the Maracana and Olympic stadiums.

Al-Ahly, Chelsea and Auckland City have already qualified for this year's Club World Cup as the champions of Africa, Europe and Oceania, respectively. The competition will also feature the winners of this year's continental club tournaments in Asia, South America and North and Central America and the Caribbean, as well as the reigning champions of the host nation's top league.

The only time the tournament has been held in Rio was the inaugural edition in 2000, when Corinthians beat domestic rivals Vasco da Gama on penalties at the Maracana.

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