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Morocco receives hosting rights for Club World Cup in February

FIFA awarded Morocco hosting rights for the next Club World Cup in February on Friday, one of the last seven-team editions.

Following the Atlas Lions’ dream World Cup run in Qatar, Morocco will stage the next global football event in six weeks, with FIFA’s ruling council handing them the privilege.

It won’t be their first rodeo, given that Morocco has hosted the tournaments twice thus far, including back-to-back editions in 2013 and 2014.

But with FIFA set to launch an expanded 32-team tournament in 2025, the upcoming event kicking off on February 1 will be one of the last traditional seven-team versions.

Casablanca, the country’s largest city, will host matches in this ten-day tournament and is also set to provide two teams, including Africa’s Champions League holders Wydad.

The place FIFA reserves for the host nation’s domestic champion belongs to last season’s runners-up Raja, considering Wydad won the Moroccan Premier League in 2021/22.

Champions League winners Real Madrid will be vying for a record-extending fifth title in this annual global competition.

As European champions, Los Blancos have made four appearances since the tournament’s re-introduction in 2005/06 and top the winners’ list with four titles.

While European representatives have often reigned supreme in the Club World Cup, CONMEBOL’s Copa Libertadores champions have spoiled the party from time to time.

The most recent South American team to lift the trophy was Corinthians, as they defeated Chelsea 1-0 in the 2012 showpiece, with Internacional, Sao Paolo and ‘Timao’ achieving that feat beforehand.

Inspired by Gabriel ‘Gabigol’ Barbosa and former Chelsea defender David Luiz, Flamengo conquered the most prominent club tournament on the ‘Green Continent’ last season.

Vitor Pereira’s men will challenge Madrid in Morocco, with Seattle Sounders, the first CONCACAF Champions League winner from the United States, preparing for their maiden Club World Cup foray.

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