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Ahly, Wydad set for Mundial de Clubes FIFA debut – Sundowns, Esperance eyeing other slots

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Ahly, Wydad set for Mundial de Clubes FIFA debut – Sundowns, Esperance eyeing other slots

The race is on for African clubs to secure the remaining places at FIFA’s new 32-team club world cup tournament – the Mundial de Clubes FIFA – which makes its debut in the United States in 2025.

Two of the continent’s four qualification spots have already been claimed by recent CAF Champions League winners Al Ahly of Egypt and Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca.

Al Ahly booked their ticket by virtue of winning the 2022/23 editions of Africa’s premier club competition.

Wydad, meanwhile, qualified after their 2021/22 Champions League triumph under the tutelage of history making coach Walid Regragui.

The two remaining African berths will go to the winners of the current 2023/24 Champions League campaign and the highest-ranked side based on FIFA’s club coefficient rankings.

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South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns and Esperance of Tunisia are the only two clubs still in contention to claim that rankings spot should Ahly or Wydad win this season’s CAF Champions League.

But they will have to wait to see who lifts the Champions League trophy, with Al Ahly and Wydad both safely through to the quarter-finals once again.

Whatever happens, African football can look forward to a strong quartet of representatives at the inaugural Mundial de Clubes FIFA in just over a year’s time.

-CAF

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Another Big Score For Morocco As Club World Cup Opening Ceremony Is Awarded Best Ceremony –

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Another Big Score For Morocco As Club World Cup Opening Ceremony Is Awarded Best Ceremony -

The opening ceremony of the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup, which took place in Morocco last year has won the Best Ceremony Prize at the HEAVENT AWARDS 2024 held in Cannes, France.

 

The HEAVENT AWARDS organization selected the ceremony, organized by the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communication, among the best nominated works alongside other opening ceremonies of international sporting events before awarding it the prize for Best Ceremony.

 

This world award recognizes Moroccan talent and creativity that made it possible to achieve an opening ceremony of international scope. It also demonstrates Morocco’s ability to successfully organize the largest global events in all areas.

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The ceremony, which was held at the Ibn Battuta Stadium in Tangier, fascinated spectators around the world with its unique artistic performances that highlighted Moroccan heritage and its openness to the world.

 

The ceremony paid tribute to the famous Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta, a symbol of the link between cultures and peoples, and his travels that contributed to Morocco’s opening to the world.

 

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Moroccan folk troupes also presented artistic displays reflecting the richness and authenticity of Moroccan heritage.

 

The ceremony also paid tribute to the daughter of football legend Pelé and featured a special appearance by national coach Walid Regragui.

 

Here are some additional details about the ceremony:

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  • It was held at the Ibn Battuta Stadium in Tangier, Morocco.
  • It featured artistic performances that highlighted Moroccan heritage and its openness to the world.
  • It paid tribute to the famous Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta.
  • It featured Moroccan folk troupes presenting artistic displays reflecting the richness and authenticity of Moroccan heritage.
  • It paid tribute to the daughter of football legend Pelé.
  • It featured a special appearance by national coach Walid Regragui.

 

The HEAVENT AWARDS are a prestigious international event that recognizes excellence in the event industry.

 

The awards are held annually in Cannes, France, and attract some of the biggest names in the event industry from around the world.

 

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The award for Best Ceremony is one of the most coveted awards at the HEAVENT AWARDS.

 

It is a testament to the quality and creativity of the opening ceremony of the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup that it was awarded this prestigious prize.

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Napoli’s elimination from Champions League gives Juventus 2025 Club World Club slot

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Napoli’s elimination from Champions League gives Juventus 2025 Club World Club slot

Banned by UEFA from European competitions this season for breaking financial rules, Juventus still qualified for the 2025 Club World Cup on Tuesday when Napoli went out of the Champions League.

Barcelona beat Napoli 3-1 in the second leg of the round of 16 to seal a 4-2 win on aggregate score that ensured Juventus advanced through a European ranking system to the revamped FIFA event.

Juventus is the 21st team to qualify for the inaugural 32-team edition of the Club World Cup that will be played in the United States in June-July 2025 by the continental champions from 2021 through 2024 plus other high-ranked teams from those competitions.

Juventus advanced one day after its former player Cristiano Ronaldo’s Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr fell out of contention after being eliminated in the Asian Champions League quarterfinals.

Barcelona is still not sure to be among Europe’s 12 entries because it trails Spanish rival Atletico Madrid in the European rankings.

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Champions League winners in the four-year period — Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester City so far — will be joined by eight or nine teams finishing highest in a table counting all results in the competition. Countries also are limited to two entries unless they have more than two winners of the continental title.

Inter Milan, which reached the Champions League final last season, already secured its Club World Cup place by ranking and Napoli’s exit Tuesday ensured Juventus cannot be overtaken as the second-best Italian team.

Juventus reached the Champions League round of 16 twice in the four-year span and also played in the group stage last season. It is currently No. 14 in the European ranking table though behind three teams from each of England, Germany and Spain which will reach their quota.

UEFA imposed a one-season ban on Juventus from its competitions in July in the fallout from a false accounting case that also saw the team deducted points in Serie A.

Juventus also was fined 10 million euros ($11 million) by UEFA though should more than recoup that in Club World Cup prize money paid by FIFA next year. The June 15-July 13 tournament has the established World Cup format of eight four-team groups then a 16-team knockout bracket.

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Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Porto, Borussia Dortmund and Benfica also have qualified, and will be joined by either Atletico or Barcelona. Other teams still in contention include Arsenal, PSV Eindhoven and Salzburg.

Three Brazilian teams — Flamengo, Palmeiras and Fluminense — have qualified, plus Seattle Sounders, and Mexican teams Leon and Monterrey. Another U.S. team will qualify as part of a Club World Cup tradition to include the host nation’s champion.

In Asia, Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia and Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan are in. Ahly of Egypt and Wydad Casablanca of Morocco have qualified from Africa and Auckland City of New Zealand will represent Oceania.

The last of the continental finals in 2024 is South America’s Copa Libertadores on Nov. 30.

-AP

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Napoli’s elimination from Champions League gives Juventus 2025 Club World Club slot –

Published

on

Napoli’s elimination from Champions League gives Juventus 2025 Club World Club slot

Banned by UEFA from European competitions this season for breaking financial rules, Juventus still qualified for the 2025 Club World Cup on Tuesday when Napoli went out of the Champions League.

Barcelona beat Napoli 3-1 in the second leg of the round of 16 to seal a 4-2 win on aggregate score that ensured Juventus advanced through a European ranking system to the revamped FIFA event.

Juventus is the 21st team to qualify for the inaugural 32-team edition of the Club World Cup that will be played in the United States in June-July 2025 by the continental champions from 2021 through 2024 plus other high-ranked teams from those competitions.

Juventus advanced one day after its former player Cristiano Ronaldo’s Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr fell out of contention after being eliminated in the Asian Champions League quarterfinals.

Barcelona is still not sure to be among Europe’s 12 entries because it trails Spanish rival Atletico Madrid in the European rankings.

Advertisement

Champions League winners in the four-year period — Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester City so far — will be joined by eight or nine teams finishing highest in a table counting all results in the competition. Countries also are limited to two entries unless they have more than two winners of the continental title.

Inter Milan, which reached the Champions League final last season, already secured its Club World Cup place by ranking and Napoli’s exit Tuesday ensured Juventus cannot be overtaken as the second-best Italian team.

Juventus reached the Champions League round of 16 twice in the four-year span and also played in the group stage last season. It is currently No. 14 in the European ranking table though behind three teams from each of England, Germany and Spain which will reach their quota.

UEFA imposed a one-season ban on Juventus from its competitions in July in the fallout from a false accounting case that also saw the team deducted points in Serie A.

Juventus also was fined 10 million euros ($11 million) by UEFA though should more than recoup that in Club World Cup prize money paid by FIFA next year. The June 15-July 13 tournament has the established World Cup format of eight four-team groups then a 16-team knockout bracket.

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Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Porto, Borussia Dortmund and Benfica also have qualified, and will be joined by either Atletico or Barcelona. Other teams still in contention include Arsenal, PSV Eindhoven and Salzburg.

Three Brazilian teams — Flamengo, Palmeiras and Fluminense — have qualified, plus Seattle Sounders, and Mexican teams Leon and Monterrey. Another U.S. team will qualify as part of a Club World Cup tradition to include the host nation’s champion.

In Asia, Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia and Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan are in. Ahly of Egypt and Wydad Casablanca of Morocco have qualified from Africa and Auckland City of New Zealand will represent Oceania.

The last of the continental finals in 2024 is South America’s Copa Libertadores on Nov. 30.

-AP

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