FIFA have announced that the 2015 and 2016 FIFA Club World Cup will be hosted in Japan for the seventh and eighth times respectively.
In a statement released on FIFA’s official website, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke stated that “This is a country with a proven track record when it comes to staging FIFA events, including six editions of the FIFA Club World Cup, which were all successful. We know it will be a superb setting once again for this annual competition with good-sized crowds and a wonderful atmosphere. The popularity and profile of the competition continues to build each year and this is sure to continue with the huge support shown within Japan.”
In the same statement, the president of the JFA, Kuniya Daini, said “It is a valuable opportunity for both players and fans to witness the world trends in club football. Not only does this competition bring exciting and entertaining football, it also gives us an insight into each participating country’s club culture and the respective domestic leagues. Together with FIFA, we will do our utmost to ensure the success of this competition. It will be an important experience for us as we look forward to hosting other major sporting events including the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
The annual competition involves the six winners from each of the six continents footballing bodies (AFC Champions League, CAF Champions League, CONCACAF Champions League, Copa Libertadores, OFC Champions League and UEFA Champions League), along with the host nation's national champions. The two-week tournament is one of the most popular tournaments in the Eastern world, and it allows smaller and lesser-known teams such as clubs from Asia and Oceania to show the world what they can do against some of the biggest teams in the world. The first FIFA Club World Cup was held in 2000 in Brazil. It has been an annual event since 2005, with Japan playing host in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012.