Fifa Club World Cup games planned to take place this month at Qatar’s new Education City Stadium have been moved after the venue failed to get necessary safety certifications in time.
The 45,000-seater stadium was due to host the final, one semi-final, and the third-place playoff. They will now take place at Khalifa International Stadium, which is already hosting several other Club World Cup fixtures.
The official opening of Education City Stadium will now take place in early 2020.
In a statement, Fifa said: “Construction at Education City stadium is complete and the venue is now operational.
“However, the necessary certification process took longer than expected and therefore the stadium was unable to host the required test events prior to the semi-final and final of the Fifa Club World Cup at full capacity.
“Fans who successfully applied for tickets to matches (Liverpool’s semi-final and the final and third-place play-off double-header) will not be impacted – all their tickets will be automatically issued to Khalifa International Stadium, and their seats will be allocated within the same price category.
“The priority is to ensure an enjoyable experience for all fans so it was decided to open the stadium at a later date.”
The 40,000-seat Khalifa International Stadium was inaugurated in 1976 and reopened in 2017 after a renovation. It recently staged the 2019 World Athletics Championships.
In June, Fifa awarded Qatar the rights to host the next two editions of the Club World Cup, in 2019 and 2020. They will be the final two editions of the tournament in its current seven-team format before it is expanded to 24 clubs as part of a commercial revamp in 2021. At the weekend, Fifa launched a process to find investors and commercial partners for the expanded tournament.
The tournament begins on December 11, with Liverpool’s semi-final – the one originally due to be played at Education City Stadium – on December 18, and the final on December 21.