PARIS — The hosts of the next World Cup Qatar will stage the Club World Cup in 2019 and 2020, FIFA announced on Tuesday.

The Middle-Eastern state will use the two tournaments as logistical tests for stadiums and infrastructure ahead of the 2022 edition of the international competition which takes place every four years.

2020 will be the final time only seven sides will participate in the annual club event before it is expanded to 24 teams a year later.

After winning the right to host a 32-team World Cup in 2010, in a bidding process mired in bribery allegations, the Qataris are coming under sustained pressure to switch to 48.

The country won its first ever Asian Cup title in February acting as a riposte to critics who long ridiculed the 2022 World Cup host for its lack of footballing prowess. — AFP



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