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Club World Cup: Final host stadium switched by Fifa

Fifa has been forced to switch the venue for the final of the Club World Cup in Qatar because the stadium where it was scheduled to be held has not been signed off.

The Education City Stadium in Doha was due to host Liverpool's semi-final on 18 December, plus the third-place play-off and the final on 21 December.

The 40,000-capacity ground is built but yet to hold any test events.

Matches will now be held at the city's Khalifa International Stadium.

The venue, which has a capacity of 48,000, hosted the World Athletics Championships in September and October and was already scheduled to host two games in the seven-team competition.

Organisers accept it is not an ideal situation but believe the change will lead to minimizing disruption.


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On 28/11/2019 at 14:34, Stan said:


All Liverpool games to be shown live on BBC TV. All other games will be online/iPlayer

Starts on 11th Dec.

Liverpool to join at semi-final stage on 18th Dec.

Teams taking part:

Esperance de Tunis
Hienghene Sport

Liverpool should absolutely smash this but depends what teams are played and how seriously Klopp takes it.

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After all the shit this has kicked up for us I want us to win it all and do it comfortably too. If we can close out the final in the first half that would be ideal but these sides are no mugs themselves and I am specifically talking about Flamengo.

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Fifa Club World Cup: Hienghene Sport - a boarding school manager and beach soccer specialists


Fifa Club World Cup
When: 11-21 December Where: Qatar

Coverage: Every game streamed live on BBC Sport website & iPlayer

Hunting with tribes, playing beach soccer, managing a boarding school and playing in the Club World Cup - that is the life of Hienghene Sports captain Bertrand Kai.

His story is indicative of a club who play in a 1,800-capacity stadium and were only formed in 1997 in the Pacific Island French territory of New Caledonia - around 900 miles off the east coast of Australia - with a population of fewer than 300,000.

They are only the second Oceania side not from Australia or New Zealand to take part in the competition and are two wins away from setting up a potential meeting with European champions Liverpool in Qatar.

If they beat Qatari side Al-Sadd on Wednesday and then Mexican club Monterrey on Saturday, a squad whose players have only eight Wikipedia pages between them could be taking on the Premier League leaders.

"It's a proud moment for our country. We have players who come from all four corners of the country - from the northern islands to the south - it does not matter what the ethnicity is," head coach Felix Tagawa told BBC Sport.

"This club is magic when it comes to the team spirit and we try to be perfectionists."

Tribes, teachers and the school canteen

Hienghene skipper Kai is one of their most high-profile players and picked up the Golden Ball on the way to their success in the Oceania Football Confederation Champions League.

He is only the second player born in New Caledonia to be crowned Oceania Player of the Year, following in the footsteps of France World Cup winner Christian Karembeu.

But football does not take up all of Kai's time, despite the team training five days a week and playing matches every Saturday.

The 36-year-old has also been a boarding school manager since 2013, is a father of two and is from the indigenous Kanak community, which represents around 39% of the population.

"I take care of the work that goes on at the boarding school and everything related to the school canteen," he said in an interview earlier his year. "All that is food, it is me who makes the orders, the menus, the hygiene and everything.

"I grew up in the tribe. We grow all the time, we are always in the fields, fishing or hunting."

The striker, easily recognisable with his long dreadlocks and dark beard, is one of several members of the team who have jobs in the "private sector," says head coach Tagawa.

"We have an administrator in the civil service, a building engineer and trainee teachers," he said. "We have to be happy with what we are and what we have because we're not deprived, it's what gives us the strength to not complain.

"We take it as a positive and work in the present to build our future. The jobs we do help us in these international competitions."

Family, Harry Maguire and beach soccer


Kai is joined in the squad by his cousin Anthony. But they are not the only family members. Brothers Roy and Miguel Kayara also play in the team.

Roy, 29, was on trial at Sheffield United before the 2013-14 season, taking part in three friendly games during a tour of Scotland, playing in the same side as England and Manchester United defender Harry Maguire.

But being part of the same family isn't the only thing that brings Hienghene Sport's players together. Six of the squad are also team-mates in the New Caledonia beach soccer team.

That includes their goalkeeper Rocky Nyikeine, who picked up the Golden Glove in the 2019 OFC Champions League, and Amy Antoine Roine, who scored the winning goal in the final as a substitute - a stunning effort from his own half which lobbed the Magenta keeper.

And to bring it all together, the beach soccer team's coach is none other than Hienghene boss Tagawa.

"Beach soccer is still football but on a smaller scale and is played differently. It helps the range of a footballer in terms of his senses, the understanding of seeing things quickly, playing fast and the technical application, which improves movement," said Tagawa.

"For me, football 'reduced' helps the players because it uses complete skills. Working barefoot in the sand is ideal for building strength in the ankles and helps with shooting because it makes the area of contact on the foot harder."

'This club is magic for team spirit'


When Roine scored in the OFC Champions League final the players, including the goalkeeper, ran the length of the pitch to join him before jumping on top of each other and dancing on the touchline.

The Stade Numa Daly - home of the New Caledonia national team with a 16,000-seat capacity - roared in the celebration too.

"I looked at the stand opposite me at one point in the match and I was really overwhelmed. It's really quite beautiful to see so many people" Tagawa told Fifa's official website.

That goal ensured their qualification for the Club World Cup which is considered by many back home as the greatest achievement by a team from the Melanesian nation.

"There is no selfishness whatsoever but only sharing and a collective spirit, it's the mantra of the fans," said Tagawa.

"When you have that within the club it results in prestige and pride for the country."



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Perfect mf timing for Monterrey. Not that they have a chance to win but because it gives club America more than enough time to prepare for the games versus Monterrey for the league title. La 14 en navidad y UNA puta en CUATRO pa new year's to go along with man utd's current form (although I would prefer man utd to be up there with lcfc , I wouldn't not want it to be thanks to var like them, prefer hard work and trust on the process )!


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Club World Cup: Fifa willing to make changes to an expanded tournament

Fifa has indicated it would be willing to make wholesale changes to its controversial plans for a 24-team Club World Cup.

The changes, including the frequency it is held, have been outlined in a tender issued to potential investors, commercial partners and media.

The annual competition, which currently features seven teams, is scheduled to be expanded from June 2021.

The expanded format was implemented despite fierce opposition from Uefa.

China is set to host the first edition of the larger tournament, with Gianni Infantino, the president of football's world governing body Fifa, describing it as "the first real and true [Club] World Cup".

It will be held in June and July, starting with a play-off between the Oceania representative and the third Asian qualifier, and includes eight clubs from Europe.

However, detail within the tender suggests the revamped event, to be held every four years, could be changed beyond recognition if Fifa receives valuable enough proposals.

In their tender, which has been seen by the BBC, Fifa says its objective is to find partners to create "the world's greatest club football experience".

In the document, Fifa states: "Should an interested party wish to do so, it may also submit a proposal for future editions of the tournament (which is currently envisaged to take place every four years) and which may include suggestions for alternative Tournament parameters, including as to frequency, format, qualification process and team participation."

The words will alarm European football's governing body Uefa, who fear the Champions League will be undermined by any significant competition to their dominant club competition, triggering a reduction in broadcasting revenue.

Potential investors have been given 11 days to come up with a proposal. The document does not say what would happen if a direct competitor to a current sponsorship partner made a better offer.

BBC Sport has contacted Fifa for a response.


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18 minutes ago, ScoRoss said:

Flamengo look absolutely woeful. And can't tackle without kicking the opposition and fouling them.

Shit ain't they?

I can't tell if it's because they can't be bothered or just really not got going? Al-Hilal seem much more organised and hungry.

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Just now, Stan said:

Warnock saying 'possibly offside' xDxD he's fucking miles on.

It was weird that he said that after seeing the replay. I thought it could have been before the replay just because of how much space and time their player had but it was miles on haha

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3 minutes ago, The Artful Dodger said:

How the hell are this team 10 points clear? They can't defend at all. 

So you say.... in every thread.

It would help if we could play two CB's for more than 3 games running without one getting injured. Still second best defensive record in the league.

Henderson at CB tonight.

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