Rio hopes to step in as replacement host for the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup in December

The Brazilian city joins South Africa in bidding to replace Japan, which bowed out as host earlier this month due to the pandemic.

The mayor of Río de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes. 8EFE/Fabio Motta/Archivo
The mayor of Río de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes. 8EFE/Fabio Motta/Archivo

Eduardo Paes, the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, has claimed that the city is attempting to secure the hosting rights for the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup.

Rio becomes the second known bidder for the tournament, along with South Africa.

The competition was originally due to be held in a new, expanded 24-team format in China, before the COVID-19 pandemic forced changes to the international football calendar.

It was then decided to revert the competition back to its original format for the 2021 edition of the tournament which would be held in Japan. However, Japan pulled out of hosting the tournament earlier this month, leaving FIFA without a host for the competition.

The seven-team tournament features the six current continental club champions, plus the winner of the host country’s top domestic league, competing for the title of Club World Cup champions. The competition was first held in 2000, and has been held regularly since 2005.

Soccer Football - Club World Cup - Final - Bayern Munich v Tigres UANL - Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar - February 11, 2021 Fifa President Gianni Infantino gives Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer the Club World Cup trophy REUTERS/Mohammed Dabbous
Soccer Football - Club World Cup - Final - Bayern Munich v Tigres UANL - Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar - February 11, 2021 Fifa President Gianni Infantino gives Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer the Club World Cup trophy REUTERS/Mohammed Dabbous

Due to the pandemic, Bayern Munich won the 2020 crown in February 2021 in Qatar. The German outfit failed to qualify for the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup after losing to Paris Saint-Germain in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League. Chelsea is the European representative this time around.

The last Brazilian club to win the tournament was Corinthians in 2012. Brazilian clubs have played in the finals seven times at the FIFA Club World Cup.

Rio previously hosted the FIFA Club World Cup back in 2000. That tournament concluded with two Brazilian clubs playing each other in the final. Rio officials may be hoping for a similar outcome should they land the hosting rights for the 2021 edition.