FIFA Club World Cup 2023 Draw Reveals Path to World Champion Crown in Morocco
The FIFA Club World Cup trophy is awarded every year to crown the best club football team in the world. This year, the tournament is set to take place in Morocco from February 1-11, with seven club teams competing for the title of world champion. The tournament will feature the defending champions of each region of the world, as well as an additional spot for the host country.
The draw for the tournament was held on January 13 and featured Morocco's most-capped international player, Noureddine Naybet. The tournament will be the last played with the current format, as a new expanded version is set to take place in 2025.
The seven clubs that will participate in the 2023 tournament include the defending champions of every region of the world, plus an additional spot reserved for the host nation's champion. However, since Moroccan champions Wydad Casablanca also won the African Champions League, thus automatically qualifying to the FIFA Club World Cup, their berth as host nation was passed on to the African Champions League runners-up Al Ahly of Egypt.
The Club World Cup returns to Morocco since it was last played there in 2014. The country was tabbed to serve as host less than two months before the tournament with two cities staging the matches: Tangier (Stade Ibn Batouta) and Rabat (Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium).
The teams that will participate in the tournament are as follows:
- Africa: Wydad Casablanca (Morocco) - CAF Champions League winners
- Africa: Al Ahly (Egypt) - CAF Champions League runners-up (Assigned host nation berth)
- Asia: Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia) - AFC Champions League winners
- Europe: Real Madrid (Spain) - UEFA Champions League winners
- North America: Seattle Sounders (USA) - CONCACAF Champions League winners
- Oceania: Auckland City (New Zealand) - OFC Champions League
- South America: Flamengo (Brazil) - CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores winners
The Club World Cup draw took place on Friday, January 13 at 12:00 CET (11:00 GMT / 06:00 ET) in Rabat, Morocco and was streamed live on FIFA+. It was held at the Mohammed VI Football Academy in Sale, Rabat.
As is customary, FIFA tabbed a local celebrity to assist with the draw and that honor fell to Morocco's most-capped international player, Noureddine Naybet.
The draw pitted tournament debutants Seattle Sounders against the winner of the tie between Al Ahly and Auckland City. One of those three teams will face European champions Real Madrid in the semifinals.
On the other side of the draw, the winner of the match between Wydad Casablanca and Al Hilal will meet South American champions Flamengo in the last four.
The tournament will kick off with the first two rounds of matches involving the clubs from Africa, Oceania, and North America. These matches will take place on February 1 and 4 respectively. The semifinals will be played on February 7 and 8. The final and third-place match will take place on February 11.
The tournament is set to be played in two different venues, with matches taking place in both Tangier (Stade Ibn Batouta) and Rabat (Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium). Morocco was chosen as the host country less than two months before the tournament, adding an exciting element of surprise to the event.
The 2023 FIFA Club World Cup promises to be an exciting tournament with top teams from around the world competing for the title of world champion. The tournament is set to take place in Morocco, where the teams will have the opportunity to play in front of passionate fans in two different venues. With the tournament being the last to be played in its current format, fans will have the chance to witness history in the making before the tournament expands and changes in 2025.