Fifa has awarded Qatar the rights to host the next two editions of the Fifa Club World Cup in 2019 and 2020.
The gulf state will host the final two editions of the tournament in its current 7-team format before the event is expanded to 24 teams as part of a commercial revamp in 2021.
A statement from Fifa said: “The upcoming editions of the seven-team competition will serve as valuable test events in the build-up to the Fifa World Cup 2022, even more so since their timing – usually around early December – corresponds with that of the next Fifa World Cup, allowing for testing under similar climatic conditions.”
Fifa said it would analyse and proactively approach potential hosts for the revamped tournament in 2021 before making a recommendation at the next Fifa Council meeting in Shanghai, China, on 23 and 24 October.
Fifa announced in March that the pilot edition of the new 24-team tournament in 2021 will replace the Fifa Confederations Cup and be played in the same slot in the international match calendar in June and July. The latter tournament, which traditionally took place in the summer ahead of the Fifa World Cup, tended to act as a dress-rehearsal for the larger event but it suffered a mixed reception from fans and Fifa faced having to move the 2021 edition because the Qatari summer would be too hot to play football.